It was the queen stage of this year’s tour. With a gradient of up to 20 percent, we went back into the mountains. The favorites fought for the win until the end.
Miguel Angel Lopez won the 17th stage of the Tour de France. The Colombian of Team Astana was the first to cross the finish line on the Col de la Loze, ahead of Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) and Tadej Pogacar (Team Emirates). Slovenian Roglic remains leader in the general classification and in the yellow jersey, while his fellow countryman Pogacar took the lead in the mountain classification in addition to the white jersey for the best newcomer.
The section is considered the king’s stage of the tour: from Grenoble it was 170 kilometers after a flat 88 kilometers to the first mountain classification. The riders had to climb the Cole da la Madeleine at an altitude of 2000 meters over 17 kilometers with a gradient of 8.4 percent.
After a downhill run of 25 kilometers, the tour was about to climb the steepest. Slopes with a gradient of up to 20 percent had to be overcome to reach the goal at 2,304 meters on the Col de la Loze.
Primoz Roglic expands leadership
Before the start, it was speculated that Tadej Pogacar would attack the yellow jersey, which was 40 seconds behind leader Roglic in the general classification. But Roglic drove a few kilometers from the finish of Pogacar and extended his lead to 57 seconds. It was probably Pogacar’s last chance to challenge his countryman Primoz Roglic for the yellow jersey.
The German youngster Lennard Kämna belonged to a leading group a day after his stage victory in Villard-de-Lans, but the North German had to let go on the penultimate mountain.
The last alpine stage over 175 kilometers from Méribel to La Roche-sur-Foron on Thursday also has its pitfalls. At the end of the last ascent to the Plateau des Glières, an almost two kilometer long gravel road awaits. A breakdown can have serious consequences here and with the fast descent to the destination would hardly be able to make up for the last 31 kilometers.