Bob Jungels single-handedly won the Châtel stage on 10th July, Sunday. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama–FDJ) tried to catch up to the AG2R Citroën rider, but all his efforts were in vain. Jonathan Castroviejo (Ineos) came second, Carlos Verona (Movistar) took his place on the podium in the third spot, while Thibaut Pinot finished fourth.
The day stood witness to many ups and downs. Daniel Martínez (Ineos Grenadiers) lost significant time, and he fell from GC standing 10th place to 30th. Although he was considered a team leader, his GC dreams now seem far from his reach as at the 9th stage, he managed to finish 15 minutes after the tour’s yellow jersey.
While commenting on his performance, the team principal Rod Ellingworth said
We shall see what’s happened, but it’s a little bit disappointing for him, I’m sure because he’s come here for a higher result than what he’s going to get now, but there we go, that’s life
While our yellow jersey showed immense power today, the win was still far-fetched for him. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) admits that he gives all that he has and tries to avail every opportunity. The winner of Longwy and Super Planches des Belles Filles consecutively leaves no stone unturned in achieving the maximum output. He was able to finish in 5th place today.
Pogacar lost his teammate Vegard, as the latter had to pull out of the race after being affected by COVID-19, the rider admits that they are taking things very seriously as related to the spread of the virus, He commented on the situation:
I took a test two days ago when Vegard [Stake Laengen] had to pull out, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for today
We are taking this virus really seriously, we take precautions, we’re by ourselves in our hotel rooms, and we’re quite isolated. I just hope that most of the bunch will stay safe
This brings us back to our crowned winner, who suffered from various crash-related issues and also had to endure the pain of arterial endofibrosis, seemed quite overjoyed with his performance on Sunday. He talked to the reporters with a smile:
After a couple of years struggling, a very tough last year with surgeries, also to take the victory this way – it’s my style of racing, my style of taking the victories – so I’m just super happy
How It Happened
Stage 9 is more mountainous as compared to the last stage in Switzerland. The blistering sun provided a perfect scene to begin the race. In the midst of COVID-19, the peloton charged ahead to start the day.
Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) tested positive on Saturday and was not seen starting the race on Sunday. Ruben Guerreiro (EF Education-EasyPost) and Kasper Asgreen (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) were also absent from the scene. This brings the total number of riders down to 165 only.
The first attack to form a breakaway came from Mattia Cattaneo (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) and others caught up to him shortly. Michael Woods (Israel-Premier Tech) underwent a crash that left him with scratching and a newly designed shirt, while Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroën Team) struggled on his own with muscle pains.
As the group approached Col de Mosses, Van Aert sprinted, forming a breakaway. The climb proved very difficult for most of the riders. Max Walscheid (Cofidis) and Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) were seen struggling to reach the top. Lotto Soudal had to send in riders to help Ewan.
At Pas de Morgins, 20 of the muscular remained in the front group after Dani Martínez (Ineos Grenadiers) dropped. Bennett overpowered the peloton. This made Pinot deliver his final blow. He sprinted to catch up with Jungels and managed to cut down the 1:30 gap. Van Aert was left behind.
Pinot caught up with Jungles on the smooth road of Pas de Morgins. He managed to bring the gap to 30 seconds. Castroviejo and Verona were also in pursuit of the stage win. But Jungles had his mind set on the victory. With only 10 km left, he managed to keep the gap open at 25 seconds. Pinot struggled to bring it down to 20 seconds. Finally, Jungles took the win.
|1||Bob Jungels||AG2R Citroën Team||04:46:39|
|2||Jonathan Castroviejo||INEOS Grenadiers||+ 22|
|3||Carlos Verona||Movistar Team||+ 26|
|4||Thibaut Pinot||Groupama-FDJ||+ 40|
|5||Tadej Pogacar||UAE Team Emirates||+ 49|
Also Read: Tour De France: Wout Van Aert Sweeps Stage 8 Win
Featured Image Via YouTube/ Eurosport France