In a monumental performance, Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) gave a blow of authority and won stage 18 of the Tour de France, which was held over a distance of 143.2 kilometers, with a mountainous layout, in which the Colombian Daniel Felipe Martínez (Ineos Grenadiers) did a great job with seventh place in the segment.
The Danish rider took a big win, beating Slovenian Tadej Pogacar of UAE Team Emirates and teammate Wout van Aert, who came in second and third respectively. The South American was captured with 5,200 meters to go, when he was neutralized by Kuss, Pogacar and Vingegaard after a long ride.
In the final stretch, the Scandinavian rider let go of his great rival in the final ascent and extended his advantage at the head of the general classification in the last stage of the Pyrenees, after an impressive display by the Jumbo-Visma club. Great job from Sepp Kuss and Wout van Aert, who played a crucial role in the final kilometers.
On the other hand, Frenchman David Gaudu (Gropupama-FDJ) finished fifth in the stage and snatched fourth place in the individual general classification from Colombian Nairo Quintana (Arkéa Samsic). The French runner took advantage of the work of his teammates to launch an attack 10 kilometers from the finish line, without finding a response from the climber from Boyacá, who saved fifth place by only 18 seconds over Louis Meintjes (Intermarché-Wanty Goubert).
The day began with 140 runners, after the Italian Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious), the Spanish Imanol Erviti (Movistar) and the British Chris Froome (Israel-Premier Tech) abandoned after testing positive for Covid-19.
In the final kilometers, the Jumbo Visma controlled the race as it pleased, first with Kuss and after the escape was controlled, Van Aert assumed his role as an exemplary gregarious and kept imposing a devastating pace that ended up melting Pogačar. Then Vingegaard patiently waited for his moment to go for the victory and practically sentenced the French round in his favor.
This Friday, July 22, stage 19 of the French round will take place, on a 188.3-kilometre route between Castelnau-Magnoac and Cahors, which includes two fourth-category mountain prizes passing half the route, in a possible massive arrival.
Nairo Quintana: “We worked until the end, we have done a great Tour de France”
“We worked until the end, we have done a great Tour de France. Payment for so many wear days are sometimes given on days like today. It was a very fast race. The teammates did everything too”, said Quintana at the end of the stage.
The climber from Boyacá arrived with the right forces to the last mountain passes of the day, arriving at Hautacam in box 13, 5’22” behind the winner Jonas Vingegaard.
“I have given everything. When it is given, everything is given. We gave everything and it is what it is. They were not the best feelings, really. I was a little short of breath. I do not want to say that it is an excuse for what happened,” said the native of Cómbita, Boyacá.
Finally, the 32-year-old runner assessed his fifth place in the general classification, 13’35” behind the leader Vingegaard. “We are still in a good position and we hope to set a correct time trial. We were there, among the top ten of the Tour”, concluded Quintana