Tour de France: Matteo Trentin wins 17th stage to Gap
Scene of the stage: At the foot of the Col de la Sentinelle, 14 kilometers from the finish, European champion Matteo Trentin grabbed the lower arm and sat down from his nine remaining colleagues. They had obviously not expected and could not follow the Italians. The European champion stormed up the last mountain, went into the downhill, pulled on his jersey and was the first to cross the finish line in Gap.
Classification of the stage: Trentin won the 200-kilometer 17th stage from Pont du Gard to Gap in front of Kasper Asgreen and Greg von Avermaet, who finished with some other outliers at the same time. With a gap of 20:10 minutes, the peloton rolled to Gap, but effects on the fight for the yellow jersey did not have that. Julian Alaphilippe will also wear the Maillot Jaune on Thursday. Click here for the stage report.
Series of European Champions: Since 2016 European championships are held in the road bike race. The European title proves to be a good omen for Tour stage victories. Peter Sagan and Alexander Kristoff won a leg of the Tour de France in 2017 and 2018 as the reigning European champions, now Trentin moved on.
Antique start: Year after year, tour operators find it harder to discover new destinations and destinations for the Tour de France. But this year, the track planners managed a small coup: The 17th stage started on the Pont du Gard, a Roman aqueduct, which is around 2000 years old. That was also the driver something new. But they would have been happier if water was still flowing there.
On the cracks: As soon as the sharp start was made, a 33-rider breakaway group set off on stage hunters like the Belgians Van Avermaet and Thomas de Gendt. After the favorites on the overall victory had checked that none of the drivers could be dangerous to them, they let the group drive. The gap grew to five, ten and then 20 minutes.
Cooling sought: The fact that the follow-up work in the field was not pursued with great consistency, was due to the one for the overall classification little dangerous outliers. On the other hand, the weather also played a role: at temperatures around 35 degrees, the pros had their hands full with constantly pouring water over their heads. That then in between a rain shower pulled over the track, the drivers should have been pleased.
Fatherhood: The German outliers Nils Politt dropped back briefly to the team vehicle, took a bottle and then had to laugh. A supervisor also offered him a pacifier. At the finish, the 25-year-old moved out with the language. Already in the past week he became father of a daughter. "Now it's out, I'm all the happier to come home on Monday," Politt said, "but where the pacifier came from, I do not know."
Gone out empty: The Cofidis and UAE teams have not clinched a stage win yet on this tour. On Wednesday they wanted to force it, both teams sent four drivers in the breakaway group. But it was blown up 30 kilometers from the finish and Trentin's entrance then no one could follow. Again, the two teams went out empty.
Dispute in the field: Lukas Rowe and Tony Martin shared the lead a few kilometers from the finish. But then the two drivers came into the enclosure. Martin became angry and drove Rowe off track so that the Welshman almost fell into the ditch. "We both do the same job, it was nothing special," Rowe said in Gap, "I rolled over with him, it's all right, we shook hands."
What's next? From Thursday, it gets really serious. Which of the three alpine days is to be the queen stage is hard to say. The 18th stage leads over 208 kilometers from Embrun to Valloire, with two mountains of the highest category to climb: the Col d'Izoard and the Col du Galibier. Here are the favorites for the overall victory required. The first attacks are to be expected.