Pello Bilbao rushed to his first Tour de France stage victory, gaining substantial time in the overall standings at the end of Tuesday’s tough 10th stage, still led by Jonas Vingegaard.
Bilbao raised his arms over his head to celebrate the end of one of the Tour’s toughest stages yet, finishing the bumpy 167km route from Vulcania to Issoire just ahead of Georg Zimmermann and Ben O’Connor in last year’s sweltering heat. central France.
Most of the overall contenders finished just over three minutes behind Bilbao, pushing him up six places in the standings from 11th to fifth place less than two minutes after the podium.
Defending champion Vingegaard maintained a 17-second lead over two-time winner Tadej Pogačar. Jai Hindley was third, two minutes and 40 seconds behind speed.
After the first rest day on Monday, the Tour started the second week with five categorized climbs and a tough stage with almost no straight sections. The rising temperatures were made even more brutal by the heat reflected from the roads.
It was brutal from the start and many drivers were clearly in pain. But in the end, a break of 14 occurred.
Krists Neilands seemed to be one of the strongest of the 14 teams, attacking on the final climb to beat the Côte de la Chapelle-Marcousse with a 30-second lead. On the descent, however, he was pursued by the Spanish Bilbao and was caught just over three kilometers away.
The Latvian cyclist finally finished the stage in fourth place.
O’Connor was the first to attack as he knew the sprint wasn’t right for him, but Bilbao was right on him and Zimmermann quickly caught up. However, Bilbao started his sprint behind Zimmermann’s wheel, pushing him and O’Connor away for the win.
Wednesday’s stage 11 includes three subcategory climbs on the 180 kilometers (112 miles) route from Clermont-Ferrand to Moulins and is expected to finish with a sprint finish.
The tour ends in Paris on July 23.