The stage 17 of the Tour de France: Superman reaches the top! LóPEZ wins the queen stage
On September 16, the 17th stage of the Tour de France ended. In the Queens stage, LóPEZ (Astana Pro Team) performed well and successfully climbed to the highest peak of this year's Tour de France, winning his first victory in the Tour de France and ranking among the top three in total.
The last week of the Tour de France still gave the sprinters a lot of face. They didn't put all the sprint points after a series of climbs, so that there would be no situation where GC drivers were wearing yellow and green. However, the Tour de France is serious for the mountain stage. The seventeenth stage was only 170km away, but there were two HC-level climbs in the second half. What if the sprinter can get the sprint points? It is the real ability to bring the green shirt to Paris.
The first stage of the HC-class climb is 17.1km long and the average gradient is 8.4%. This means that the riders have to climb more than 1,500 meters within 20km, without any pre-climbing, and climb up. The next downhill will also be very thrilling. It descends like a roller coaster, and the top end of the mountain is waiting for the riders ahead. The final HC-grade climb assumes the role of the top end of the mountain. It is 21.5km long and has an average slope of 7.8%. The slope of 5 km before the end is even higher, with a maximum slope of more than 20%. This is a stage that really tests the strength of the drivers, and only one driver can be proud of La Loze.
The biggest news before the start of the game is that BERNAL has retired. BERNAL has been plagued by injuries these days and is in poor condition. Retiring may be his best choice.
The first half of the sixteenth stage was almost flat, and a large number of drivers launched a breakout action. 16km after the start of the race, DE GENDT (Lotto Soudal) broke through alone in the front, behind him, many drivers launched a fierce pursuit. DE GENDT was caught up by the chasing drivers after 8km solo. A 21-person breakout group formed, including ALAPHILIPPE (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), KÄMNA (Bora-Hansgrohe), CARAPAZ (INEOS Grenadiers), VAN AVERMAET (CCC), ANDERSEN (Team Sunweb), Dan MARTIN (Israel Start-Up Nation) and others, the main group is 15 seconds behind.
There was a small climb before the sprint point on the way. When the main group smashed to the rear of the breakout group, ALAPHILIPPE made an effort and took CARAPAZ, KÄMNA, Dan MARTIN and Gorka IZAGIRRE (Astana Pro Team) to escape the main group’s gravity. After the pull, EWAN in the main group fell behind early. 30km after the start of the race, the five breakouts led the main group by 25 seconds.
ALAPHILIPPE led the small group to pass the sprint point on the way, the main group came afterwards, MØRKØV took Sam BENNETT out, SAGAN was once again blocked by MØRKØV, and finally Sam BENNETT passed the sprint point 7th, SAGAN 9th, the gap between the two sprint points Rise to 47 points. Team Jumbo-Visma team leader group entered the final 95km, the time gap rose to 5 minutes 25 seconds.
Coming to the first HC-level climb, the Bahrain McLaren team leader accelerated, and the time gap began to decrease. The main group QUINTANA, ROLLAND, SCHACHMANN, CHAVES, MARTíNEZ, PILOT, SIVAKOV, COSNEFROY and others have fallen behind, and the main group has been reduced to 70. People around. At 12km from the top of the slope, KÄMNA fell out of the breakout group, and the four of ALAPHILIPPE, CARAPAZ, Dan MARTIN and Gorka IZAGIRRE led the main group by 3 minutes and 35 seconds. NIEVE (MITCHELTON-SCOTT) retired midway, ending his tour of France early.
POELS (Bahrain McLaren) led the main group to enter the last 8.5km of the climb. The main group's number dropped to 33, 3 minutes and 35 seconds behind the breakout group. KÄMNA was taken back by the main group shortly afterwards. The Bahrain McLaren and Team Jumbo-Visma teams accelerated the chase tempo in the front. Only DE LA CRUZ was left beside POGAČAR. There was not much time left for the breakout group.
ALAPHILIPPE was unwilling to let it go, and took the lead several times. CARAPAZ surpassed ALAPHILIPPE before the arrival of the first HC grade climbing point and successfully took the first place with 20 points. After 1 minute and 25 seconds, the main group reached the climbing point, the POGAČAR acceleration rate passed first, and 8 climbing points were obtained. So far, POGAČAR's climbing points surpassed COSNEFROY by 6 points, temporarily ranking first in the climbing standings.
ALAPHILIPPE got rid of CARAPAZ and Gorka IZAGIRRE with its excellent downhill ability. The Frenchman galloped on the winding concrete road. The downhill speed reached 93.1km/h, and the time gap was over 2 minutes again. More than halfway down the mountain, CARAPAZ and Gorka IZAGIRRE caught up with ALAPHILIPPE, Dan MARTIN fell behind, and the Bahrain McLaren team led the main group to chase in the rear.
In the final 35km of the race, Dan MARTIN was taken back by the main group. ALAPHILIPPE, CARAPAZ and Gorka IZAGIRRE still had a lead of 2 minutes and 40 seconds. After a small ups and downs, the race was about to reach the final HC grade climb. The final peak, La Loze, is 2,304 meters above sea level, which is the highest point in this Tour de France. In the last 20km, the climb started, and the lead of the breakout three dropped to 1 minute 55 seconds.
The breakout three people continued to pull, and the offense of ALAPHILIPPE accelerated the pace of the race. The main group chased under the leaders of the Bahrain McLaren team four and Team Jumbo-Visma team six, and more drivers began to fall behind. In the last 13km, CARAPAZ launched a charge, and ALAPHILIPPE briefly followed and fell behind. The Frenchman was quickly taken back by the main group and withdrew from the stage competition. With 10km from the finish line, CARAPAZ and Gorka IZAGIRRE only have a 32-second lead.
In the last 9km, CARAPAZ flew solo again. Gorka Izagrire was unable to catch up, and soon retreated back to the main group. In the last 5km, CARAPAZ left the main group alone for 45 seconds. The track became steep and the race became intense. CARAPAZ maintains a good riding rhythm during the climb, with full firepower. Can the former Giro d'Italia champion win his first victory in the Tour de France?
In the GC group, VALVERDE, MAS, URáN, LANDA, DUMOULIN, have fallen behind, POGAČAR is at the forefront of the group, behind him are ROGLIČ and KUSS watching. In the last 3.5km, LóPEZ launched an attack, the GC group was disrupted again, and then KUSS came to the front to take over the lead. After 500 meters, KUSS led the team to recover CARAPAZ.
Unexpectedly, KUSS speeded up the slope and brought out LóPEZ from the GC group. ROGLIČ, POGAČAR and Richie PORTE stood still in the rear. At 2.5km, LóPEZ got rid of KUSS and opened a 10-second gap by himself. ROGLIČ speeded up and connected to the KUSS ahead. POGAČAR showed fatigue behind ROGLIČ and was gradually opened up by the two teams of Team Jumbo-Visma.
KUSS completed the task, ROGLIČ ignited and accelerated, chasing LóPEZ alone 13 seconds ahead, and POGAČAR was still about 5 seconds behind ROGLIČ in the last 1km. In the end, LóPEZ succeeded in reaching the top with an absolute advantage, and the Little Superman won the championship of this year's Tour de France queen stage. ROGLIČ was 15 seconds behind to cross the line and finished second. POGAČAR was 15 seconds behind ROGLIČ to cross the line, and the time gap was widened again.
At the end of the stage, ROGLIČ maintained a yellow jersey, leading POGAČAR by 57 seconds, and LóPEZ rose to third place, 1 minute 26 seconds behind ROGLIČ. Sam Bennett retains the sprint green shirt, 47 points ahead of SAGAN. POGAČAR became the new owner of the climbing polka dot shirt, leading ROGLIČ by 3 points and LóPEZ by 15 points. At the same time, POGAČAR was firmly seated in the white shirt of the best young driver, leading MAS by 3 minutes and 21 seconds. The President of France attended the award ceremony, and ALAPHILIPPE won the Combativity award.