Tour de France (st. 17)
Portuguese allrounder into 33-man breakaway including stage victor Trentin (MTS), finishing with 20′ over the Landa (7th overall) / Valverde (8th) peloton. Big stage on Thursday, over cols of Vars, Izoard & Galibier.
Italian Matteo Trentin (MTS) took Wednesday’s victory on stage 17 of the 2019 Tour de France, the ‘Grande Boucle’ approaching the Alps with 200km from the Pont du Gard to Gap and the final climb of La Sentinelle (Cat-2). A 33-man breakaway formed early in the race allowed Nelson Oliveira (Movistar Team) joining a winning group which he got dropped from with twenty-five kilometers left, an 11-man move serving Trentin as launchpad before the foot of the climb to win solo.
Mikel Landa (7th overall) and the rest of the Telefónica-backed squad -who finished inside a peloton at a whopping 20’10” from the day’s victor– had an otherwise uneventful day, with no significant moves between the race contenders before the race’s showdown in the next three days in the Alps, Thursday through Saturday.
Stage 18 will be a long, 208km trek from Embrun to Valloire, with the Côte des Demoiselles Coiffées (Cat-3) helping set the initial break before three legendary, brutal climbs offer the perfect venue for GC attacks: Vars (Cat-1), Izoard (HC) and the Galibier (HC), its 2642m summit just 19km before the end.
REACTION / Mikel Landa:
“In the beginning there was a lot of speed in the peloton as the breakaway formed, but other than that, we were able to keep a steady pace and reach the finish line with no setbacks. It was still a pretty warm day, though, which made us suffer a little bit. Now it’s all about the final series of mountains, the final chance to do something in this Tour. I’m ready for it. Let’s hope the race scenario allows us trying it from afar, or at least go on the attack and make up some time. We’ll try something; it will be a difficult task to leave the others behind with such strong competitos, but we’ll give it a try. A podium finish? Why not. We saw we were going well in the Pyrenees. We’ve got hope, we want to try. I won’t be able to do it alone, though: I’ll need my team-mates, and I know they’re ready to give it their all. I hope we can bring our fans some joy.”
Cover picture (c): ASO / Pauline Ballet