Champagnole (France), September 18
That’s deux for Soren Kragh Andersen on the Tour de France. The Danish rider who received Stage 14 doubled down and raised his arms in victory once more on Stage 19 on Friday, with one other cunningly timed assault.
Behind him, saving their final reserves of power for a time trial on Saturday that can resolve the Tour podium, race chief Primoz Roglic and his rivals most popular to coast to the end whereas Andersen hared off for the status of the stage victory.
He left 11 different riders he’d been with in a breakaway for lifeless with an acceleration of 16 km (10 miles) from the end in Champagnole in japanese France.
He held up two fingers on the line — one for every of his stage wins.
The focus now shifts to the time trial the place Roglic might be aiming to safe his first Tour title, and the primary by a Slovenian.
“So far, so good. I’m feeling good,” he mentioned.
“It’s all on me.”
And if he suffers a mishap, Slovenia will nonetheless have a second likelihood, within the form of Tadej Pogacar, who’s second general.
Just 57 seconds separate the countrymen. That lead ought to be ample for Roglic, the winner of time trials final yr on the Spanish Vuelta and on the Giro d’Italia. But it may wither with a tumble, a nasty breakdown or different accident on the tough course into the Vosges, the final of 5 mountain ranges scaled by this Tour.
At nationwide championships in Slovenia in June, Pogacar beat Roglic by 9 seconds in a time trial that additionally had an identical achieve in altitude, about 700 meters, however was a lot shorter, at just below 16 kilometers.
The route on Saturday is greater than twice that, at 36.2 kilometers. It would require a nuanced effort, with an preliminary flat part adopted by a primary uphill after which a twisting downhill earlier than a pointy climb up hairpin bends to a small ski station, at La Planche des Belles Filles.
The ending ramp is a really steep 20% gradient, with different sections earlier than that of greater than 10%.
Behind Roglic and Pogacar — nicknamed Rog and Pog by some — the third-placed rider general, Miguel Angel Lopez from Colombia, might be aiming to safe his spot on the rostrum. He is 1 minute, 27 seconds off the race lead, which ought to put Roglic out of attain for him. AP