Puy de Dôme, Sunday, July 9th –Michael Woods (Israel – Premier Tech) won stage 9 to the Puy de Dôme from a breakaway that went from the gun. The Canadian broke the heart of American Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar Team) who had led the race solo for the last 48kms only to be overtaken by Woods in the last kilometre and then by Pierre Latour and Matej Mohorič (Bahrain – Victorious) in the last 50m.
A duel between Tadej Pogacar and Jonas Vingegaard in the last 1.5km of racing saw the Slovenian reclaim 8 seconds but the Dane who retained the yellow jersey.
Pedersen sprints to victory in Limoges, Cavendish crashes out of the Tour
Stage 8 of the Tour de France was a hilly affair, as the riders travelled 200.7km from Libourne to Limoges, with a drag up to the finish line. The stage was won by Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek), who outsprinted Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) and Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) in a reduced bunch sprint, while Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) retained the yellow jersey ahead of Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates). Absent from the fray was Mark Cavendish who crashed, breaking his collarbone, with about 60km remaining.
How it happened
The stage was marked by a breakaway of six riders, who escaped early on and built up a maximum lead of over five minutes. The escapees were Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Dstny), Anthony Perez (Cofidis), Simon Clarke (Qhubeka-NextHash), Jonas Koch (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty), Sean Bennett (EF Education-EasyPost) and Fabien Doubey (TotalEnergies).
The breakaway was never given much leeway by the peloton, which was controlled by Jumbo-Visma and UAE Team Emirates for most of the day. The gap started to come down on the first climb of the day, the Côte de Champs-Romain (2.8km at 5.2%), where Perez took the maximum points ahead of Campenaerts and Clarke.
Cavendish Out of the Tour
Mark Cavendish’s dream of breaking the record for the most Tour de France stage wins ended in agony on stage 8, as he crashed out of the race with a broken collarbone. The British sprinter, who had equalled Eddy Merckx’s tally of 34 victories on stage 13, was involved in a pile-up with about 60km to go on the hilly stage from Libourne to Limoges. He was seen holding his shoulder and grimacing in pain before being taken away in an ambulance.
Cavendish, who had announced his retirement at the end of the season, had come close to making history on stage 7, but was denied by a gear issue in the final sprint. He had won four stages in this year’s Tour, defying expectations after being a late call-up by his Deceuninck-QuickStep team. His crash left his fans and teammates heartbroken, as he bid farewell to his final Tour.
Breakaway gives way for a sprint finish
The second climb, the Côte de Masmont (1.3km at 5.5%), saw Perez repeat his feat, followed by Campenaerts and Doubey. The breakaway still had a lead of over three minutes at this point, but it was clear that they would not make it to the finish.
The third and final climb, the Côte de Condat-sur-Vienne (1.2km at 5.4%), was where the breakaway fell apart, as Campenaerts attacked and dropped his companions, while Perez crashed on a corner and had to abandon the race. Behind him, Clarke and Koch tried to chase down Campenaerts, while Bennett and Doubey were caught by the peloton.
Campenaerts reached the top of the climb with a lead of one minute over Clarke and Koch, and two minutes over the peloton, which was led by Jumbo-Visma and UAE Team Emirates. The Belgian time trial specialist gave his all on the flat run-in to Limoges, but he was eventually reeled in with 4km to go.
The stage was then set for a sprint finish, but it was not a straightforward one, as the last kilometre had a 3.1% gradient that favoured the stronger riders. Van Aert looked like the favourite, as he had his Jumbo-Visma teammates leading him out, but he was surprised by Pedersen, who launched his sprint from far out and held off Philipsen and Van Aert to take his second Tour de France stage win.
Vingegaard finished safely in the main group and kept his yellow jersey for another day, with a lead of 35 seconds over Pogacar and 2:29 over Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal-Quickstep). The other GC contenders also finished in the same time, with no changes in the top ten overall.
Stage 8 Results and GC
The Tour de France continues on Sunday with a mountainous stage from Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat to Puy de Dôme, which features four climbs, including an uphill finish on the extinct volcano.
Bordeaux, Friday, July 7th –Jasper Philipsen won the third bunch sprint of the 110th Tour de France, making it three out of three as he deprived Mark Cavendish from the record-breaking 35th stage victory of his career. It’s his fifth win in two years. The Belgian is definitely the current dominating sprinter. He also extended his lead in the points classification while Jonas Vingegaard retained the overall lead.
Hard hitting Pogačar takes the fight to Vingegaard
Cauterets-Cambasque, Thursday, July 6th –The day after losing his stage 5 battle with Jonas Vingegaard, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) bounced back to claim a solo victory at Cauterets-Cambasque, his 15th win of the 2023 season and his 10th stage at the Tour de France while defending champion Jonas Vingegaard took over from Jai Hindley in the overall ranking to leave the Pyrénées in the maillot jaune.
Stage 6 of the Tour de France was a thrilling showdown in the high Pyrenees, as Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) bounced back from his setback on stage 5 and claimed a stunning victory at Cauterets-Cambasque, dropping his main rival Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) in the final kilometre. Vingegaard took over the yellow jersey from Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe), who cracked on the Col du Tourmalet, but he lost 12 seconds to Pogacar, who moved up to second place overall.
The 144.9km stage from Tarbes to Cauterets was a brutal test for the GC contenders, with two iconic climbs – the Col d’Aspin (12km at 6.5%) and the Col du Tourmalet (17.1km at 7.3%) – before the final ascent to Le Cambasque (16km at 5.4%). The stage was animated by a large breakaway of 23 riders, which included Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), Victor Lafay (Cofidis), Simon Yates (Jayco-Alula) and Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost).
The breakaway split on the Col d’Aspin, with Van Aert setting a hard pace for Vingegaard, who was sitting comfortably in the peloton behind his UAE Team Emirates rivals. On the descent, Van Aert was joined by Powless, Yates and Lafay, while Hindley was dropped from the yellow jersey group and lost contact with his Bora-Hansgrohe teammates.
The four leaders started the Col du Tourmalet with a lead of over four minutes on the peloton, but they were soon reduced to three when Yates was dropped. Behind them, Vingegaard launched a surprise attack with 1.4km to go to the summit, catching Pogacar and his group off guard. The Slovenian quickly reacted and bridged across to Vingegaard, while Alaphilippe tried to follow but could not close the gap.
Vingegaard and Pogacar crested the Tourmalet together, with Powless joining them on the descent after dropping Van Aert and Lafay. The trio had a lead of over a minute on Alaphilippe’s group, which included Uran, Bernal, Bardet and Buchmann. Hindley was over four minutes behind and out of contention for the yellow jersey.
The final climb to Le Cambasque was a tense duel between Vingegaard and Pogacar, who took turns setting the pace and testing each other. Powless hung on bravely but could not contribute to the effort. With 1km to go, Pogacar made his decisive move and accelerated away from Vingegaard, who could not respond. The defending champion crossed the line with his arms aloft, celebrating his first stage win of this Tour.
Vingegaard came home in second place, 12 seconds behind Pogacar, while Powless held on for third place, 40 seconds behind the winner. Alaphilippe led the chasing group over the line, 1:44 behind Pogacar, followed by Uran, Bernal, Bardet and Buchmann.
The stage shook up the GC standings, with Vingegaard taking over the yellow jersey with a lead of 35 seconds on Pogacar and 2:29 on Alaphilippe. Uran moved up to fourth place at 2:31, followed by Bernal at 2:35 and Bardet at 2:38. Hindley dropped to seventh place at 3:01, while Buchmann climbed to eighth at 3:03.
The Tour de France continues on Friday with a flat stage from Lourdes to Toulouse, which should favour the sprinters.
Aussie Rules OK. Jai Hindley solos to stage win and yellow jersey.
Laruns, Wednesday, July 5th –After Phil Anderson, Stuart O’Grady, Bradley McGee, Robbie McEwen, Simon Gerrans, Cadel Evans and Rohan Dennis, Jai Hindley (BORA – hansgrohe) became the eighth Australian in the yellow jersey as he soloed to victory in Laruns after making a smart move in a numerous breakaway from far out on his Tour de France debut! Jonas Vingegaard bettered arch-rival Tadej Pogačar in the first Pyrenean stage.
Stage 5 of the Tour de France was a day of drama in the Pyrenees, as the race exploded on the first mountain test of the 2023 edition. The 178km stage from Pau to Laruns featured four categorized climbs, including the hors categorie Col de Soudet and the first category Col de Marie Blanque, before a fast descent to the finish.
The stage was won by Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe), who attacked from a large breakaway group on the Col de Soudet and soloed to victory in Laruns, taking the yellow jersey from Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) in the process. Hindley, who finished second in the 2020 Giro d’Italia, showed his climbing prowess and endurance as he held off a chasing group of four riders, led by Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), who sprinted to second place ahead of Victor Lafay (Cofidis) and Simon Yates (Jayco-Alula).
But the biggest story of the day was the battle between the main GC contenders on the Col de Marie Blanque, where Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) launched a devastating attack that dropped Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), the defending champion and pre-race favourite. Vingegaard, who won the Critérium du Dauphiné in June, showed no fear as he accelerated away from Pogačar and a select group of riders, including Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal-Quickstep), Rigoberto Uran (EF Education-EasyPost), Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) and Romain Bardet (dsm-firmenich).
Vingegaard quickly opened up a gap of over a minute on Pogačar, who seemed to struggle with the heat and the steep gradients of the climb. The Slovenian was isolated from his UAE Team Emirates teammates, who had lost contact earlier in the stage, and had no allies to help him chase down Vingegaard. He was eventually joined by Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious), David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) and Mattias Skjelmose (Lidl-Trek), but they could not make any significant dent in Vingegaard’s advantage.
Vingegaard crossed the summit of the Col de Marie Blanque with 1:07 over Pogačar’s group and maintained his lead on the descent to Laruns, where he finished 1:09 behind Hindley and moved up to second place overall, 47 seconds behind the new leader. Pogačar crossed the line in 14th place, 2:16 behind Hindley, and dropped to third place overall, 1:41 behind Hindley and 54 seconds behind Vingegaard.
The stage reshuffled the GC standings, with Hindley leading Vingegaard by 47 seconds and Pogačar by 1:41. Simon Yates moved up to fourth place at 2:02, followed by Lafay at 2:08 and Van Aert at 2:12. Alaphilippe climbed to seventh place at 2:23, while Uran slipped to eighth at 2:25. Bernal remained in ninth place at 2:29, while Bardet rounded out the top ten at 2:32.
Stage 5 Results and GC
The Tour de France continues on Thursday with another mountain stage in the Pyrenees, featuring the legendary climbs of the Col du Tourmalet and Luz Ardiden. The stage could see more fireworks among the GC contenders, as Vingegaard will try to defend his position and Pogacar will try to bounce back from his setback.
A review of the Road Book 1989, a comprehensive record of the 1989 Professional Road Racing Season
The Road Book 1989 is the inaugural cycling almanack in the Blue Series celebrating one of the most exciting years in the sport, the year of the closest Tour de France finish and the year the Berlin Wall fell.
When the first Road Book was published covering the 2018 season it immediately identified a gap in the market few realised was there and brought a unique level of insight into the sport of professional road cycling. With it though came one point of frustration – why did no one do this years before?
Well, the creators of the Road Book listened and the Blue Series of Road Books was born, with the flag dropping on 1989. A year that reminded American audiences, again, that the biggest sporting event in the world wasn’t the Super Bowl or the World Series, but the Tour de France.
As with the ‘Red Series’ the book is chock full of statistics and essays by those in the thick of the action. All the big races are in there and with each a description of what happened that day both on and off the bike, the latter a reminder that while professional road cycling can seem like a bubble it happens in public life goes on around it. Here’s an example:
TOUR DE SUISSE
17 June 1989
166.5kmThe city of Liestal is famous for its Chienbase traditional parade held annually on the Sunday night after Ash Wednesday. Often characterised as a pagan spring festival, it features the startlingly dangerous-looking sight of people processing through the cobbled streets of the old town clutching huge flaming torches of strips of pine.
Of course 1989 is the year that a certain American with a French surname, Greg Lemond, broke French hearts in the most painful way when he bested French ‘national treasure’ the late Laurent Fignon by a mere eight seconds, on the final day, in Paris. Three hammer blows that struck deep into the French psyche. It was the closest the French have come to winning their home race in the 33 years since. It was also the year of the Tour de Trump versus the Tour de Rump, not a typo – see page 121.
A gallery of photographs from some of the best photographers in cycling bring 1989 to life and remind us that this was the era not just of steel frames but before shell helmets and the ubiquitous presence of sunglasses, when the suffering and glory was there for all to see. Everything changes, but nothing changes.
Nogaro, Tuesday, July 4th –Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) took his second win of the 2023 Tour de France, and his fourth Tour de France sprint finish in a row, in a finale littered with crashes.
From the start in Dax —home town of the legendary sprinter André Darrigade, who won 22 Tour de France stages— to the finish on the Circuit Paul-Armagnac race track in Nogaro, everything pointed to a sprinter taking the spoils in stage 4, sandwiched between three gruelling stages in the Basque Country and the race’s first foray into the Pyrenees. The super-speedsters did not let this golden opportunity go to waste. Barrelling down the flat roads of the Landes and Gers departments, the sprinters’ teams kept a tight rein on a stage in which the breakaway took its sweet time to form.
The Norman duo of Benoît Cosnefroy and Anthony Delaplace took off with 86 kilometres to go and added some excitement to the race before getting reeled in about half an hour before the finish. The European champion, Fabio Jakobsen, was among those who hit the tarmac in the crash-marred finale, leaving Jasper Philipsen to surge to his fourth Tour de France bunch sprint win on a trot, one day after raising his arms in triumph in Bayonne and a year after coming out on top in Carcassonne and on the Champs-Élysées. It was a double whammy for the Belgian rider, who cemented his status as the king of sprints and wrested the green jersey from Victor Lafay, while Adam Yates stayed in yellow.
The Sprinters Rule as the Tour finally reaches France
Bayonne, Monday, July 3rd –Jasper Philipsen won stage 3 to Bayonne in a bunch sprint finish ahead of Phil Bauhaus and Caleb Ewan. It’s the third Tour de France stage victory and the 30th career win for the 25 year old Belgian as well as the fifth Tour de France win for Alpecin-Deceuninck. Adam Yates retained the overall lead.
How it happened
174 riders started the stage in Amorebieta-Etxano as the Le Tour prepared to bid farewell to the Spanish Basque country. With a bunch of KOM points up for grabs across a Cat 3 and 4 climbs it was no surprise to see King of the Mountains leader Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost) the first in action. He was joined at the front right after flag off by Laurent Pichon (Arkea-Samsic). Powless banked points across climbs at Trabakua (km 13.8) and Millol (37.8) to secure the polka dot jersey mathematically at least until the Tour reaches the Pyrénées on stage 5.
After 30km of racing the time gap was 3’ with 37.2km were covered by the leading duo in the first hour of racing. Before the intermediate sprint at Deba (km 65.8), stage 2 winner Victor Lafay (Cofidis) jumoedaway from the peloton to score 15 points behind Pichon and Powless in order to defend his green jersey.
France, Nous Voici!
After taking maximum points over the last categorised climb at km 112, Powless sat up and left Pichon to ride solo and lead the race in France with an advantage of two minutes over the peloton and 60km remaining. It had been whittled down to 40’’ fifteen kilometres later as the teams of the sprinters entered in action, and after 156km in the lead, Pichon was reeled in with 37km remaining.
A high tempo by the sprinters’ and GC teams put a dampener on any attacks as they eyed up the predicted bunch sprint.
VAN DER POEL LEADS PHILIPSEN OUT
As the peloton rocketed through the streets of Bayonne Intermarché-Circus-Wanty dug deep to give Biniam Girmay to win his first Tour de France stage but in the final kilometre Alpecin-Deceuninck gave a masterclass in lead outs.
Mathieu kept it fast and furious with Jasper Philipsen glued to his back wheel. Van der Poel peeled off with 200m to go leaving Philipsen to claim his third Tour stage. Tour debutant Phil Bauhaus took second spot with Caleb Ewan rounded out the podium. Adam Yates retained the Maillot Jaune.
Stage 2: Vitoria-Gasteiz to San Sébastián, 208.9km
Lafay holds off the peloton to win Stage 2
San Sebastian, Sunday, July 2nd –Victor Lafay escaped from the group of the favourites one kilometre to end a fifteen year drought for Team Cofidis. The team’s last win at the Tour de Grance was w=in 2008 when Sylvain Chavanel outclassed Jérémy Roy in Montluçon.
Lafay is the third French rider to win in in San Sebastian following on from Louis Caput in 1949 and Dominique Arnould in 1992. Third on the line, Tadej Pogacar gained four seconds of time bonus while Adam Yates retained the yellow jersey.
Yates Twins go one-two in historic finish. Adam takes the top prize.
Adam and Simon Yates, twins but rivals from different teams, took an historic one-two at the end of a dramatic opening stage of the 2023 Tour de France in the Basque city of Bilbao. The two paired up by happenstance about 7.5km from the finish and worked in sync before Adam proved the stronger in the closing two hundred metres distancing his twin without a backward glance to take the win and claim first wearing of the maillot jaune.