The 16 kilometer climb in the Pyrenees would be the highest finish of the race and, with an average grade of 8.7 percent, it would be another big battle between the top men.Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) only extended his lead at the top of the standings after winning the stage, and once again showing his dominance in the Tour mountains.
The Slovenian blew up the GC group 8.5 kilometers from the top of the climb, taking Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) and Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) with him as Rigoberto Urán (EF Education-Nippo) showed his first sign of weakness in the battle for the podium and could not keep up.
The Colombian was the big loser of the day, dropping from second to fourth after losing 1:49 on the final climb. It could have been a lot worse for the leader EF if Sergio Higuita hadn’t been there to treat him on the last climb of the day.
The result, however, was enough to see Urán drop from second to fourth place overall, his gap to the yellow jersey now being 7.17am. Vingegaard moved up to second in the overall standings at 5:39, with Carapaz in third place at 5:43.
Eighth, Enric Mas (Movistar) was the first overall top 10 rider to be dropped on the Portet, falling from the peloton as Rafał Majka pushed the pace 12 kilometers from the top. The Movistar rider at least managed to recover before the final slopes and finished 2:27 behind the stage winner. The result even saw him climb one spot in the overall standings to place seventh at 9:48.
Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroën) made another fierce demonstration, and with Urán was first able to follow Pogacar. The Australian will eventually lose ground but he made his way to the Colombian and even managed to drop him on the last slopes of the climb to finish fifth on the stage and keep the same position in the general classification. .
He is now 7:34 from yellow but has a slim margin over sixth Wilco Kelderman. The Dutch rider finished the stage with blood on his face but was able to reconnect with Urán, Higuita and O’Connor before finally crossing the line in sixth place at 1:40 am. Like O’Connor, he retained his place in the overall standings and sits just over eight minutes away.
Alexey Lutsenko (Astana-Premier Tech) finished close to three minutes, and as Urán fell in the standings with the leader Astana now more than eight minutes behind Pogacar after slipping halfway up the climb. The ninth Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) also lost time and finished 13th ahead of Lutsenko but he managed to maintain his position.
The excellent fourth place of David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) was enough to see him finish at 1:19 on Pogacar, and even if that did not hoist him in the top 10 of the general classification, he at least reduced the gap over Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious) of 21 seconds.
|Pos.||Rider’s name (country) Team||Result||Time lost / gained|
|1||Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates||71:26:27|
|2||Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma||0:05:39||-0:07|
|3||Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers||0:05:43||-0:10|
|4||Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo||0:07:17||-1:59|
|5||Ben O’Connor (Off) Team AG2R Citroën||0:07:34||-1:36|
|6||Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe||0:08:06||-1:50|
|7||Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team||0:09:48||-2:37|
|8||Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech||0:10:04||-3:03|
|9||Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis||0:11:51||-3:49|
|dix||Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious||0:12:53||-1:54|
|11||David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ||0:15:42||-1:29|
|12||Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep||0:19:41||-4:56|
|13||Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Team BikeExchange||0:28:42||-4:56|
|14||Aurélien Paret Painter (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team||0:31:48||-9:38|
|15||Louis Meintjes (RSA) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux||0:34:02||-3:51|