Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
When a rider puts on the maillot jaune, magical things tend to happen. Think back to the 2004 Tour de France when a baby-faced 25-year-old Thomas Voeckler grabbed the world’s attention as he held onto the yellow jersey for an emphatic 10 days, much longer than he supposed to have it. Wearing cycling’s most coveted jersey is an honour and for the non-GC contenders, it sometimes means that little bit more and they will go to great lengths to hold onto it for the one extra day.
Quote of the day:
“I will remember this day for the rest of my life.” — Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig
(Cervelo-Bigla) has outdone John Degenkolb for the most emotional post-race interview as the Dane broke down in happiness after finishing La Course. See the video below or on our Youtube channel.
Story of the day: Déjà vu, as yellow goes up the road
Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) is currently in his second stint wearing the maillot jaune, and, as he did in 2016, he attacked while in the jersey during the first mountain stage of the Tour. He seems to have adopted the saying, “the best defence is a good offence.”
Like in 2016, the first mountain stage ended with cat. 1 climb before a harrowing descent to the finish. Van Avermaet knew he would have no chance of keeping yellow if he began the final climb with the GC contenders, so in order to try to get a headstart, he joined the day’s breakaway.
Van Avermaet’s riding in the breakaway while in yellow is the panache that makes the Tour what it is. The Belgian wanted to do everything he could to keep the jersey and in some instances that meant playing the mental game more than the physical one. While Van Avermaet is likely to lose the maillot jaune tomorrow, he leaned on his tactical prowess to have it for just one more night.
Dispatches from the Tour de France
Alaphilippe shines, Van Avermaet extends on mountainous stage 10 of Tour de France
Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) took a superb victory at the Tour de France on Tuesday, winning the race’s first big mountain stage at Le Grand Bornand. The Frenchman was part of the day’s big breakaway, but left his companions behind on the penultimate climb, the Col de Romme.
He soloed over the top of the subsequent Col de la Colombière and sped down the descent, reaching the finish 1:34 ahead of Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida) and a further six seconds ahead of Rein Taaramae (Direct Energie).
“To win a stage of the Tour is amazing,” he said. “I have no words to describe what I have done. I am thinking about my family and am really happy, really satisfied. Just delighted. I really want to enjoy myself after this victory.”
Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team) extended his overall lead by riding in the day’s breakaway finishing fourth, 1:44 behind Alaphilippe. Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) led in the bunch of GC contenders 3:23 seconds back.
Click through to read our full report on Alaphilippe’s stage 10 Tour victory.
Not Rigo’s day
Two days after crashing heavily on the cobblestones of northern France, Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First-Drapac) suffered during the first mountain stage of the 2018 Tour de France. He was dropped on the final climb of the day, the Col de la Colombière and finished 2:36 down on the group of GC favourites.
“Believe me we are going to the end here. We’re not giving up. We’ll fight to the end and see what happens in the coming days,” Uran said after the stage.
Uran currently sits 22nd overall at 7:08 behind the maillot jaune of Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing). More importantly in the virtual GC standings, which begin with Geraint Thomas (Sky), Uran is 4:46 behind. He is 3:47 behind Chris Froome.
Other key GC contenders losing time on Tuesday’s stage were Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) and Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe). The trio finished in a group 12 seconds in front of Uran.
Tomorrow’s Tour stage
Finish: La Rosière Espace San Bernardo
It’s the first summit finish of the 2018 Tour. The stage will most certainly be an explosive one at just 108.5 kilometres. Four categorized climbs dot the route and three of the day’s climbs are over 12 kilometres long.
Van Vleuten repeats at La Course
Just days after snatching the highly coveted Giro Rosa pink jersey, Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) has done it again by defending her La Course by Le Tour title.
Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) had gapped the Mitchelton-Scott rider and Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Cervelo Bigla) near the top of the Col de la Colombiere with about 15 kilometres remaining in the 112-kilometre race. The Olympic gold medallist then stretched her advantage out to around ten seconds on the descent.
Though, there was no giving up for van Vleuten, who just kept pushing her tired post-ten-day tour legs until the gap slowly edged down just a little. With just 400 metres to go the commentators were all but calling it over, as it looked like it was just too late for van Vleuten to close the gap. But it wasn’t.
On the final drag into the line, which was a tough uphill, van Vleuten put it in a big gear, gritted her teeth, and wrestled her bike toward the finish. She powered past a fading van der Breggen in the final metres to top off an incredible two weeks in which she has taken out two of the most prestigious races on the Women’s WorldTour calendar.
Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig gets emotional after finishing La Course
La Course 2018: Lizzie Deignan on the new 2019 Trek-Segafredo women’s team
We sat down with Lizzie Deignan after the big news that Trek would be funding a women’s team in 2019 and that she’d be joining the squad. We also chatted about Wisconsin cheese, her pregnancy, and the ASO working towards a women’s edition of the Tour de France.
Degenkolb tries to sell us his bike
Winner of stage 9 of the 2018 Tour de France, John Degenkolb tries to convince us why we should buy a Trek. We then test to see if he really knows his bike set up.
Just send it!
A mountain biker jumped over the breakaway on the Hors catégorie Montée du plateau des Glières.
— NBCSN Cycling (@NBCSNCycling) July 17, 2018
Tour de France stage 10 highlights
La Course highlights