An alliance with the Colombian Tour de France, sprint friendships and the revenge of Peter Sagan – VeloNews.com

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POITIERS, France (VN) – In what has become a Tour de France cover hobby, alliances are talked about as the race progresses into its final week.

This time around, there are rumors that the Colombians could work together to turn the tide against the Slovenes.

There are rumors that Nairo Quintana has hinted that the four Colombians in the top 10 could gang up and work together to oust the Slovenian duo of Primož Roglič and Tadej Pogačar.

It might play out with fans at home, but the cooperation between Colombians on the national lines is pure fantasy during this tour. Here’s what I think: Nairo Quintana is not going to help Egan Bernal, just like Rigoberto Urán will not help Miguel Ángel López.

They may be compatriots, but they are rivals on the road, and not necessarily friends outside. Cycling is a mercenary game, and it’s every man for himself (and his teams) from here to Paris.

Bernal said so when asked about the idea. At the end of the day, just because these guys share the same nationality doesn’t mean they’re best friends.

“It’s not that easy for all of us Colombians to go out together, to help each other, to arrive – not easy at all,” Bernal told ESPN Bike, adding a comment on Quintana. “A couple of times I attacked with him and asked him to shoot, and he never did, so it would be complicated.

Bernal might have torpedoed this idea, but López seemed to suggest it might work. Better a Colombian to win the Tour than a Slovenian, right?

“Right now everyone is racing for their teams,” said López. “But in the end, we are compatriots. Once things are better settled, maybe we can work together. I wouldn’t have any problem with that as it would be wonderful to see another Colombian Tour winner.

A roadside alliance could happen, and if it did, it would be an amazing thing to see.

Will the Colombians present themselves as a unified force? My opinion is as follows: No. Will they shoot if the four are on the road and Roglič, Pogačar and others are against the ropes? Absolutely. Will they attack for victory? Of course.

Collaboration is an invention on the road, not something chopped up in hotel lobbies.

Quick buddies

Bennett (left) and Ewan are friends and training partners in Monaco. Photo: Sebastien Nogier – Pool / Getty Images

Caleb Ewan revealed that it was easy for the pros to let their feelings go on the team bus after winning the 11th stage of the Tour on Wednesday.

Ewan and his sprint rival Sam Bennett are close friends. They live in the same building in Monaco and are frequent training companions. Both are rising sprinters who want to win every chance they have.

And that means they often argue against each other.

“We’re very good friends, he’s one of my best friends and we train a lot together,” said Ewan.

The bonds of their friendship are found after the 10th stage on Tuesday at Île de Ré, won by Bennett just ahead of Ewan. It was Bennett’s first Tour de France victory, and Ewan came up to congratulate him after the win, giving him a punch and a hug.

“It’s always tough because we both have the same goals and both of us have a lot of pressure on us to win here, it’s the biggest bike race in the world, and the sprints are really hot. . But we’ve done well so far, I think, to keep the work and our friendship separate.

On Wednesday, Bennett played the role of cheerleader. Despite the tire-wide stage loss, Bennett gave Ewan a congratulatory punch as the two crossed the line.

“And you know when he won yesterday I couldn’t have been happier for him because everyone saw how much that meant for it and I saw how hard he worked for it. and so i’m super happy for him, ”said Ewan. “On the other side of course I was disappointed for myself because I worked hard for it and I didn’t win. It’s always tough like that, but if anyone wants to beat me I’m glad it’s him.

Yellow weight

Primož Roglič found his second day in yellow easier than the first. Wednesday’s rolling sprinter stage was in stark contrast to Tuesday’s tense, crash-riddled stage.

One thing is obvious: he takes a liking to the yellow jersey.

“The yellow jersey is ultimately the highest honor that we can know in the world of cycling. We are at the peak there. So I am very proud to wear this tunic, ”Roglič said. “Anyone who has won once here knows that. It makes you addicted. I don’t think I took the yellow jersey too early. But indeed, it takes a lot of energy for the consequences. This is not the first time that I have worn this type of jersey. I have experience in handling this kind of situation.

Peter Sagan will seek revenge

Sagan (left) was relegated for pushing Wout van Aert. Photo: Thibault Camus – Pool / Getty Images

I expect Peter Sagan to take revenge for Thursday’s difficult stage on the outskirts of the Massif Central.

After being relegated on Wednesday for hitting Wout van Aert in the sprint, Sagan needs a big boost to get back into the green jersey hunt. The lumpy final, with a second and third category climb in the final hour of the race, could see Sam Bennett abandoned.

The profile might suit Sagan, but a breakaway could also remain clear.

With 218 km, it is the longest stage of the Tour this year. Sagan could sit down, just to make sure he can save a few games for the looming Alps. It certainly won’t be a massive sprint.

If a small group comes in, put your money on the Slovak if he’s still there.

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