Photo-finish was required to determine the stage 10 winner between Magnus Cort and Nick Schultz at Megève Altiport and the Dane who was the most combative of the first week finally took the victory he was hunting for since the Grand Départ of the Tour de France in his country.
Tadej Pogacar retained the overall lead by the small margin 11’’ over Lennard Kämna.
25 RIDERS IN THE LEAD
The start proper of stage 10 was given to 161 riders at 13.47. 4 non-starters: George Bennett (UAE Team Emirates), Ben O’Connor (AG2R-Citroën), Luke Durbridge (Team BikeExchange) and Alexis Vuillermoz (TotalEnergies). There were several skirmishes in the early part of the race.
After Alexis Gougard (B&B Hotels-KTM), one of the attackers, got reeled in at km 50, Dylan van Baarle (Ineos Grenadier), Philippe Gilbert (Lotto-Soudal), Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-KTM) and Luis Leon Sanchez (Bahrain Victorious) rode away at km 53 while Pogacar was left at the head of the peloton with almost no team-mate.
In several waves, it became a 25-man front group at km 62: Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma), Filippo Ganna and van Baarle (Ineos Grenadiers), Lennard Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe), Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar Team), Ion Izagirre and Benjamin Thomas (Cofidis), Sanchez and Fred Wright (Bahrain Victorious), Kristian Sbaragli (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Andreas Leknessund (Team DSM), Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert), Simone Velasco (Astana Qazaqstan), Alberto Bettiol and Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost), Hugo Hofstetter and Connor Swift (Arkéa-Samsic), Gilbert (Lotto-Soudal), Mads Pedersen and Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo), Edvald Boasson Hagen (TotalEnergies), Simon Clarke (Israel-Premier Tech), Jack Bauer and Nick Schultz (BikeExchange-Jayco) and Rolland (B&B Hotels-KTM).
RACE NEUTRALIZED WITH 36KM TO GO
Rolland and Wright forged on after the Frenchman took the KOM price with 50.8km to go while the deficit of the peloton was 6’45’’. It was a 25-man leading group again 8km further and Bettiol took the opportunity to counter attack by himself.
The race was put to a halt due to a demonstration on the road by seven people. A new start was given 36km before the finish, firstly to Bettiol, 25’’ later to the 24 chasers and 7’25’’ later to the peloton. 20km before the end, Kämna became the virtual Maillot Jaune as the bunch was more than nine minutes adrift.
CORT, FROM BEHIND
Bettiol forged on in the 19.5km long final uphill to Megève Altiport. Zimmermann and Wright went in between while older riders were losing contact with the Kämna group. Zimmermann, Wright and Thomas made contact with Bettiol, so did Van Baarle, Jorgenson, Cort and Velasco, so Bettiol attacked again 10km before the finish line. The Italian was joined by Zimmermann.
A group of 11 riders was formed again with 6km to go, after which Sanchez tried his luck and got a 30’’ lead for himself. The Spaniard took the KOM price 2.2km before the end and was joined by Schultz and Jorgenson. Van Baarle made contact within 1km to go. The leading four riders watched each other 400 metres before the line.
It enabled some of their former breakaway companions led by Thomas to come across. Sanchez sped up again, Schultz looked like he had it but Cort came from behind and pipped him on the line. The peloton completed the course 8’55’’ after Cort, so Kämna missed out on the Maillot Jaune by just 11 seconds as Pogacar retained it. – www.letour.fr