Stage 19 saw Christophe Laporte claim his first plushie on a Tour de France podium to give Jumbo-Visma their fifth victory and the French their first. Can you hear La Marseillaise? The flying French Jumbo Bee jumped to the three man leading group in the last kilometre, then surged in the finale to come over the line with sheer disbelief and joy written large on his face. In a missed opportunity for the fast men, Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) pipped Team DSM’s Alberto Dainese for second place in the bunch sprint. Despite some nervous moments for due echelon action, ill timed mechanicals and yet another protest, the GC remains unchanged. Not that it stopped Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team-Emirates) from trying his luck to grab a few seconds back on the yellow jersey Jonas Vingegaard along the way.
Let his palmares show that Hugo Houle‘s first professional victory came on Stage 16, Tour de France 2022. In a day for the tactical deployment of teammates, the Israel-PremierTech Canadian flew solo from the break of the day with 40km to go, dug deep on Mur de Peguere and kept his cool on the testing descent to come across the line with a salute to the brother he lost to a hit-and-run incident ten years ago. Behind him, Valentin Maduous (Groupama- FDJ) pipped Houle’s teammate and fellow Canadian, Michael Woods. Behind THEM the GC podium remains unchanged due to Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) repelling all of Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) attacks. Underneath the podium, it’s all shaken and stirred with Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic) moving up to fourth and Romain Bardet (Team DSM) dropping from fourth to ninth. Continue reading
Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) delivered the first lion plushie to the Trek-Segafredo team bus on Stage 13 of the Tour de France. The Dane was the strongest and smartest of a strong, smart seven-man breakaway and rode a perfect finale – jumping clear of Fred Wright (Bahrain-Victorious) and Israel-Premier Tech’s Hugo Houle to claim his maiden Tour de France podium. After a day of jangling nerves brought on by unpredictable winds, a little echelon action, searing temperatures and a fast race pace, the GC contenders will be relieved to cross the finish line with all time gaps unchanged.