Tour de France (st. 5)
Sagan (BOH) takes victory into reduced bunch sprint in Colmar as Amador, Valverde, Soler and Blues’ two leaders -Quintana & Landa- make GC group in eve of Movistar Team’s first big mountain stage in the 2019 TDF.
The 2019 Tour de France entered the Vosges on Wednesday with a lumpy stage five -169km towards Colmar-, its final four Cat-2 / 3 climbs reducing the peloton to just seventy riders. Peter Sagan (BOH) took the sprint victory ahead of Wout van Aert (TJV, 2nd) and Matteo Trentin (MTS, 3rd).
The Movistar Team covered the stage quite orderly, with Verona, Erviti and Oliveira protecting the Blue leaders early on before Amador and Soler covered Valverde, Landa and Quintana towards the end, all five into a bunch registering no significant changes GC-wise.
Mikel and Nairo remain 1’30” behind race leader Julian Alaphilippe (DQT) before Thursday‘s first big mountain stage in the Tour. The 160km stage six will take the riders from Mulhouse to the demanding La Planche des Belles Filles (Cat-1), after another six rated climbs with no respite in hilly Alsace roads.
Nairo Quintana: “Another day done and dusted, safe after some nervous racing. We got over it well, and we’re finally heading into our terrain tomorrow. Thursday’s stage will be one to test our own legs and see where we stand. The first mountain stage did not go really well for us in the last few years, yet I hope luck will be on our side this time around and we can do well. Let’s see what we can do.
“Sunday’s TTT is water under the bridge – it’s still early in the Tour, there’s so much ahead. We’ll also have to see how our rivals and their teams do tomorrow. We must race sensibly tomorrow. It shouldn’t be up to Nairo Quintana to carry the pressure on his shoulders of attacking first. Sometimes, when Nairo attacked, others took advantage.”
Cover picture (c): BettiniPhoto