Tour de France: Drama on Col de la Loze as Miguel Lopez wins Stage 17

Paris, September 17

Primoz Roglic strengthened his grip on the yellow jersey after an intriguing battle on the Col de la Loze as Miguel Angel Lopez rode onto the digital podium by turning into the ninth rider to select up a maiden win on this yr’s Tour de France with victory in Stage 17.

A pulsating conclusion to the 170-km Alpine take a look at on Wednesday noticed Slovenia’s Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) experience away from compatriot Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) in pursuit of Astana’s Lopez, the Colombian lone ranger, forward of a ultimate kilometre of brutal double-digit ramps.

The Tour’s first ascent of the Col de la Loze bike path above the ski resort of Meribel lived as much as its billing because the queen stage as followers flocked to the summit of the best level of the Tour and the riders delivered the drama in spades.

Lopez held on for the win in entrance of French President Emmanuel Macron with Roglic weathering Pogacar’s fevered chase to return dwelling 15 seconds down and lengthen his lead on his compatriot to 49 seconds forward of the ultimate day within the Alps.

Victory for Lopez noticed the 26-year-old experience into third place within the normal classification, 1’26” down on Roglic, whereas Pogacar, the double stage winner who got here dwelling 30 seconds down, took some comfort in transferring into the lead of the polka dot jersey standings.

Fourth over the road on the 2,304-metre end was American Sepp Kuss, who had ridden away from the leaders with two kilometres remaining solely to sit down up and anticipate his Jumbo-Visma teammate as Lopez made his decisive transfer.

A stable fifth place for Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) noticed the Australian veteran rise to fourth place within the standings forward of Britain’s Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), who stayed in fifth after coming dwelling alongside Spain’s Mikel Landa and behind one other Spaniard, Enric Mas of Movistar.

Landa’s Bahrain-Merida crew set out their stall early for his or her chief, driving to the entrance en masse to set a hefty tempo on the Col de la Madeleine to all however thwart the possibilities of the day’s five-man break earlier than whittling down the primary pack on the beginning of the ultimate 21.5-km climb.

But because the highway narrowed and the gradient worsened above the ski resort of Meribel, Landa was unable to repay his crew with the assault the world craved however which no one actually anticipated.

Instead, Jumbo-Visma have been in a position to management issues with their energy in numbers, with Kuss, Tom Dumoulin and Wout van Aert all placing in a giant shift earlier than the eventual fireworks spelled the tip for the final remaining escapee, Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz of Ineos Grenadiers, with three km to go.

With all eyes on the person in white, it wasn’t Pogacar, the Tour’s greatest younger rider, who made the primary transfer, however Lopez, the diminutive rider in child blue, who attacked in a second of indecision after Kuss had ridden clear on one of many quite a few flat steps forward of the final, seemingly interminable slog in direction of the summit.

As the storm clouds gathered, Roglic dropped Pogacar in his pursuit of Lopez and a possible second stage win. The 21-year-old yo-yoed behind, at one level virtually closing the hole regardless of having to chase away the gathering followers along with his arms.

With the end in sight, Pogacar put in a last-ditch try to attract stage with Roglic and reignite the battle for yellow, however because the gradient kicked as much as 20% the elastic lastly snapped. And so, benefit to the 30-year-old Roglic, who extends his cushion to virtually a minute forward of the ultimate day within the Alps and Saturday’s decisive time trial to La Planche des Belles Filles. — IANS

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