At the end, the rain and falls turned the initially dull stage into a drama. Decathlon riders did it best, namely Paul Lapeira. None of the top six favorites lost

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160 km and 2300 altitude meters. All day in undulating terrain. Only one climbing premium of the 3rd category and that’s at the 19th km. However, significantly more similar climbs could have been awarded such an “honor”.

Soon after the start, the five teams from the lower divisions, consisting of Jetse Bol (Burgos-BH), Alexis Vuillermoz (TotalEnergies), Iván Cobo (Equipo Kern Pharma) and the brothers Enekoitz Azparren (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Xabier Mikel Azparren (Q36.5) left . Cobo soon dropped out, the others were engulfed by a large peloton 13 km before the finish line.

Then the games for the winner of the stage could begin. Riders from Movistar, Decathlon and Groupama-FDJ were active. It flew to the destination. Then came what it smelled like. In one of the descents in a long right-hand bend, it lay down. Around ten people, among those who could think higher was also Tao Geoghegan Hart (Lidl-Trek).

But those ten were not the only victims of the fall. He split the peloton 4 km before the finish line, leaving only forty competitors in front. And of course it was not expected.

And that wasn’t the end of all the “days”. 2 km before the finish, Lorenzo Germani beautifully led his Groupama-FDJ colleague Romain Grégoire from the front on the rear wheel. But he, on the other hand, in the left-hand turn, also tilted it in the descent in such a way that he drove both on the ice and on his back to the retaining wall. Germani waved his hands in a gesture of futility, but immediately got down to work, knowing it was up to him now.

In the fierce spurt, the one who has been showing excellent form since February finally prevailed. 23-year-old Paul Lapeira has already won two French firsts this year, seventh place at the Drome and ninth at Laigueglia (both 1.Pro).

The fan’s eye tried to discern how it was with the top favorites of the overall standings. Both Jonas Vingegaard and Primož Roglič were recognizable. The official results then helped to establish that Remco Evenepoel, Juan Ayuso, Mattias Skjlemose, Pello Bilbao, but also Brandon McNulty, Kévin Vauquelin, Mikel Landa and Rigo Urán arrived in the first group without losing a bouquet.

But there were competitors who were unlucky. Jay Vine (2nd), Ethan Hayter (9th) and unfortunately also Ion Izagirre (10th) dropped out of the top ten. The loss of Baska, who has traditionally been successful here, is not fatal, he may not be far from the top ten, but having a 44-second gap after the first stage is still a certain handicap.

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It is also worth noting that Del Toro brought his colleague Ayus to the second speed bonus for two bonus seconds, and Evenepoel took one after him. Ayuso jumped over three people, including Vingegaard, and is currently fourth. Heck, those who save money can end up with three.

“I won two races three weeks ago. But this is a WorldTour event, so it’s at a much higher level.” Lapeira said. “It’s really great to win here. With 1.5 kilometers to go, I tried to break away from the peloton, but I couldn’t. Then I decided to focus on sprinting and let my legs rest. Bruno (Armirail) he brought me to the two hundred. Then I started my sprint and it turned out to be enough to win.”

Of course, the interim leader is still Primož Roglič, who still owns the green jersey of the best in the points competition and the white one with red stripes for the climbers.

Karel Vacek was classified in 111th place.

The article is in Czech

Tags: rain falls turned initially dull stage drama Decathlon riders Paul Lapeira top favorites lost

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