Stage 18. The last mountain stage. A summit finish on Hautacam. Most likely, the last chance for Tadej Pogacar to take enough time from his rival Jonas Vingegaarde to make Stage 20’s time trial a possible replay of 2020. There was just about everything in this stage – from super domestiques cracking early to domestiques that cracked yesterday surging back into play. Attacks on a descent that bit the attacker on the ass. The attackee waiting for him so they could fight it out on the final climb together. In the end, Vingegaarde took the stage and pretty much clinched this year’s Tour. He also picked up the KOM jersey on the way.
While Stage 12 of Tour de France 2022 didn’t have the dream-crushing quality that Stage 11 had, it did have a powerful narrative all its own. From the youngest ever winner on l’Alpe d’Huez to a (mini) comeback from a rider who used to dominate the Tours, it was a day of contrasts. The GC Top 10 got reshuffled again (though not as drastically as yesterday), Tadej Pogacar couldn’t shake Jonas Vingegaard, although not for want of trying, and the French didn’t get their Bastille Day victory.
Ah, it’s another week of fun and frivolity in the pro-cycling peloton. This week, it’s mainly about the gorgeous Tour de la Provence, which gave us hours of viewing enjoyment. But there’s also peloton bromances, Sepp on skis and Cav sprinting … GO