Race director Christian Prudhomme on today’s stage: “La Chartreuse area could inspire the many breakaway experts if they feel ready enough to battle it out on the climb up the Col de Porte,” he said. “The mountains of Vercors also offer all the ingredients of a tricky stage. A similar cocktail to the one offered in Villard de Lans in 1987 that had left a bad taste in the mouth of Jean-François Bernard.”
“We had a plan to let the breakaway go,” said the race leader. “It’s not up to us to do the race but we saw that we could control it. The guys did it really well. Unfortunately, I was a bit too short at the end. I didn’t make any gift to Tadej [Pogacar]. We are good friends but we both want to win. He was just stronger and I was a bit disappointed to lose the stage. Chapeau to him. I don’t think the suspense on GC is over. I would like it was! We are in a really good position but it’s far from over yet.”
Tadej Pogacar was first to the top of Grand Colombier to win his second stage of this year’s Tour, while Ineos rider and reigning champion Egan Bernal plummeted down the overall standings after losing more than seven minutes amid rumblings of discontent from within and without the camp. Jeremy Whittle was there for the Guardian …
It’s a Slovenian one-two at the moment as Primoz Roglic leads his compatriot Tadej Pogacar by 40 seconds. Colombian veteran Rigoberto Uran is a further 54 seconds back in third.
From William Fotheringham’s stage-by-stage guide: Never flat, and with an 11km climb into the Vercors Massif, this stage favours an early break, and the winner will probably escape on the ascent 20km from the finish. It’s the sort of stage that suits a climber who isn’t afraid to go solo
. [Narrator’s voice: “Bauke Mollema abandoned after crashing during stage 13”]
, such as the Dutchman Bauke Mollema if he isn’t in the overall mix