Tour de France 2022 : Stage 10 – Magnus Cort: mountain man of Megeve

Holy moly! WHAT a mind boggling day of racing on Stage 10 of the Tour de France. It started with the EF Education-Easypost bus getting stuck and ended with EF Pinkies mountain supremo, Magnus Cort, pipping Nick Schultz (Bike-Exchage-Jacvo) in a breathless sprint at Megeve. In between we had a swathe of positive covid tests, the mother of all battles to get the break of the day away, Lennard Kamna (BORA-hangrohe) moving to second on GC after it appeared race leader Tadej Pogacar didn’t want to let the yellow jersey go after all, oh – and a protest by climate change activists that held the race up for several minutes. The day after rest day is NEVER short on drama!

148km, three  categorised climbs before the Cat 2 finish at Megeve – a day made for a breakaway and EVERYONE knew it.

It took 65km of constant attacking before a 25 man breakaway made it. I’m pretty sure I could hear the weeping of gratitude from the beleaguered riders at the back of the peloton. Here’s my notes from the chaos:

Getting into the break was HORRENDOUS, feel for the guys trying to make it, and those struggling to stay in the peloton.

Surely something has to give, the longer this battle goes on, the more the GC guys will think they have a chance at  a stage win. Turns out to be a day a lot LOT harder than pundits, fans and the racers themselves expected

Adam Blythe asking ‘what is going on at this TDF?’ echoing everyone right now.

The humongous break-of-the-day, with Kamna the closest on GC at 8:43 mins.

There were attacks a-plenty from the break with Pierre Rolland (YES! B&B Hotels!) starting his challenge for the polka pox.

With around 45km to go and lead of seven minutes, the breakies were playing for the stage win. Alberto Bettiol stretched his legs and flew solo on the valley before the last climb. This time in support of his teammate Cort – sorry Alberto we will stop talking about that stage at some point

And then – this happened,

Riders were stopped in their groups, while the protesters were cleared from the route.

After riding in circles to keep his legs from seizing up, Bettiol set off again.

21km to go and a gap of nine minutes meant the stakes were even higher for BORA-hansgrohe’s Lennard Kamna as he moved into virtual yellow.

Bettiol was caught on the final, never-ending climb by a strong group including Dylan Van Baarle (INEOS Grenadiers), Benjamin Thomas (The Mighty ‘Dis), Andreas Leknussand (Team DSM) Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar), Luis Leon Sanchez (NOT ASTANA but Bahrain Victorious), Fred Wright (also Bahrain), Shultz and Cort.

Sanchez leapt away with 6km to go. Shultz and Jorgenson bridged to him and the trio were joined by Van Baarle. The attacks kept coming, their legs must have been screaming STOPPPPPPP.

With 500m to go it looked like the quartet would play for the win, and then the cat and mouse started.

From out of nowhere they were caught! Here’s your finale.

It’s even more impressive from the overhead shots, with Danish comms.

Join Luke and I in our jubilant Danish EF Pinkie corner.

What a stormer of a finish. The way we shouted when Magnus appeared and stomped on the pedals to draw level with Schultz.

Our words exactly Mr Vaughters

It was oh-so-close on the line. A mountain finish sprint, split by a lunge for the line and ending with riders spent and exhausted on the ground. What is not to ADORE.

Look at that smile, and also 10/10 for #capsnothats

Absolutely thrilled for Magnus, and his Tour de France, From King of the Mountains to Mountain Man at Megave.

Very fitting that Bettiol gets podium time as the most combative rider, minus half a point for that hat!

A huge round of applause for Nick Schultz. I really feel for our #couchpeloton, that was an exceptional ride and I’m sure we’ll see more of this young Aussie.

Tale of the maillot jaune

As the break of the day pulled out their unassailable lead, the talk started to focus on would Tadej Pogacar relinquish his yellow  jersey before two hard and complicated stages in the Alps.

It would seem to make sense not to have to expend energy to protect yellow, particularly given the problems caused by covid in his team.

It did look as if that was the plan when Lennard Kamna moved into virtual yellow on the route. All eyes watched the running clock as BORA-hansgrohe’s GC man crossed the line. He only required 8 eight minutes and forty-four seconds to take it. It looked like the GC group would just roll over the line, that the yellow jersey would indeed switch shoulders and teams –  right up until Pog sprinted to try and snatch seconds.

Did Kamna and BORA made the right calls today – stage victory or yellow were both in their grasp at some point and yet they come away with neither.

First Pog denies him a stage victory, then the top step of the podium.

I really hope we don’t see the race altered by riders testing positive for covid, but I fear it’s a hope in vain. The situation remains complicated for all the teams, but UAE Team Emirates must be keeping everything crossed their fragile bubble holds.

The ASO have taken some steps to reduce contact between teams and public.


Bus tales

I did enjoy the twitter discussion between BikeExchange-Jayco (formerly Orica) and the EF social media accounts today. Honestly, you have to feel for those bus drivers, the roads they have to traverse, the places they have to park would test the best of us.

Twitter use @nyvelocity will adore this

Last Word (with the Alpine stages looming)

Final results

Top 5 Stage 10

1 Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost) 3:18:50

2 Nick Schultz (BikeExchange-Jayco) same time

3 Luis Leon Sanchez (Bahrain Victorious)) +0:07

4 Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar) +0:08

5 Dylan Van Baarle (INEOS Grenadiers) +0:10

GC Top 10

1 Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 37:11:28

2 Lennard Kamna (BORA-hansgrohe) +0:11

3 Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) +0:39

4 Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers) +1:17

5 Adam Yates (INEOS Grenadiers) +1:25

6 David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) +1:38

7 Romain Bardet (Team DSM) +1:39

8 Tom Pidcock (INEOS Grenadiers) +1:46

9 Enric Mas (Movistar) +1:50

10 Luis Leon Sanchez (Bahrain Victorious) same time

All the Jerseys

Leader’s jersey Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates)

Points jersey : Wout van Aert (Jumbo Visma)

King of the Mountains: Simon Geschke (Cofidis)

Best young rider: Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates)

For full stage reviews, go to cyclingnews

Official Tour de France website is here

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