Vingegaard loses key allies as Tour de France hits boiling point

Vingegaard loses key allies as Tour de France hits boiling point

Jonas Vingegaard held on to the leader’s yellow jersey at the Tour de France on Sunday, but lost it after surviving a fall and injuring two key Jumbo-Visma team-mates, who sided with defending champion Tadej Pogakar for the title. In the tense conflict weakened their defenses.

The stage itself, raced in a 40-degree heat, was won by Belgium’s Jasper Phillipsson, who had a massive sprint ahead of Vout van Aert and Mads Pedersen.

The sprinters caught Frenchman Benjamin Thomas about 250 meters from the stage line from Rodez to the Carcassonne citadel, as the home nation’s race stretched to 35 stages without a win.

Phillipsson thought he had won stage four in Calais, not realizing that another rider had crossed the line long ago.

“I have better memories than Kallis,” he said with a smile.

“It also helped that Mark Cavendish is not here this year,” he said in reference to the star British sprinter.

– an even match –

In a struggle for supremacy in the general rankings, Winggaard saw his team reduced to six riders, which leaves him at the level of teammates with Pogakar, with six stages to go, three of them in the Pyrenean Mountains. There are slogans.

The wingguard, who fell about 55 km from the finish, still leads Pogakar by 2 minutes 22 seconds, with 2018 champion Geraint Thomas third, a further 21 seconds behind.

However, the little-built Dane lost arguably two of his strongest assists as three-time Vuelta winner Primoz Rogi was declared a non-starter, which was quite poor.

But when Steven Kreuzswijk collapsed after environmental campaigners staged a second roadblock protest at this year’s race, Pogakar’s team may have rejoiced.

“It’s never nice to see someone fall,” Pogakar said.

“But it would have been different if I hadn’t lost two of my teammates. Now we go to an even match last week.”

Wingguard admitted that it was a bad day for Jumbo.

“It’s two very important teammates, two very strong riders. It’s a very bad day for us. We will keep fighting for Paris by all means,” he said.

While he did not attribute his injuries to anything serious, the fact that he fell due to inattention and then threw his bike down, suggested a crack in his armor.

“I’m fine. I have a few roadblocks on my left when I go down, I’m a little nervous but that’s what happens after a major accident.”

Temperatures in excess of 40 degrees made the peloton a slow roll, and many have decided not to train on Monday’s rest day.

“It was very hot, over 40 degrees. I am very happy about the day off tomorrow,” Pogakar said.

With 65 km remaining the two fleeing pelotons slightly ahead of the peloton suddenly slowed down as demonstrators blocked the road.

The following pack had to brake and in such heat many people were caught in the cold.

Two of the demonstrators had chains tied around their necks; Two others gave off a pink glow. On the other’s shirt, “984 days left” was written.

The same group briefly halted the Tour in the Alps on stage 10.

DMC/DJ

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