Welcome to Bicycling Australia’s day-by-day coverage of the cycling event of the year, the Tour de France. Check this pinned post daily for the latest stage results and at the end of the tour you’ll be able to scroll back to see how the race unfolded. A big thanks to Rouvy who are supporting our coverage – you can check out their impressive augmented reality training platform at www.Rouvy.com
26yo Dane Jonas Vingegaard has won his second consecutive Tour de France, the Team Jumbo-Visma rider strongly defending his ‘22 title and proving unequivocally he’s the world’s top GC rider.
With Jumbo-Visma also winning the teams classification, Vingegaard said the overall victory was all down to teamwork and Jumbo-Visma’s long-held ‘working together’ motto.
“It’s a dream to win the Tour de France again this year”, said an elated Vingegaard on the Champs de Élysées in Paris.
“The Tour is and remains the greatest cycling race in the world and I am very proud of the team,” he continued. “We have achieved this together. It is a victory for all of us. I could not have done it without the support of my wife and little daughter. I consider myself a family man, so being together is very important. I felt this warmth from my family during the last period, but also from my teammates. After three intense weeks, we can celebrate this triumph.”
A largely ceremonial roll into Paris, Stage 21 delivered the action and adrenaline viewers have come to expect from each and every stage of this year’s Tour.
Bora-Hansgrohe sprinter Jordi Meeus managed to secure the stage victory over several sprinters including favourite Jasper Philipsen. Describing Stage 21 as “the biggest day in my career”, the win was especially sweet given teammate Jai Hindley’s Top 10 overall finish – Jai being 7th on GC.
“I knew I could do better than I was able to show so far in this Tour,” said Meeus.
“Finally, all worked out today. I am super proud to have finished off the job. I had really good legs today and Danny and Marco brought me up in the right moment. Then I was on the wheel of Jasper and in a perfect position to launch my sprint.”
Jai Hindley Best-Placed Aussie
Jai Hindley, the former yellow jersey wearer and best-placed Aussie at this year’s Tour, described how it was a particularly tough race and he’d proud of his overall result.
“We had some really nice moments, winning a stage already in the first week and then also wearing the yellow jersey for a day,” the West Australian and former Giro winner said.
“Then sitting high in GC for a long time until an unfortunate crash threw a spanner in the works,” Jai continued.
“The impact from the crash lasted the whole race and affected my performance quite a bit, which is shit.
“We were on the right path for a decent final GC result. But regardless I kept fighting every day and left everything out on the road. And with the support off the boys and the whole staff team here, we managed to end up 7th in the end. Maybe not the result we came for, but one I think we can all be proud of.”
Thanking each and every Bora-Hansgrohe teammate, Jai said he felt their commitment and support for 100% from start to finish.
“Through the good times and the bad,” Jai said. “And most importantly, the atmosphere we had here as a team was super nice. And in general, it was a really enjoyable month on the road with everyone. So, I would just like to say thanks to the whole team and to all the fans for the incredible support. It’s been amazing.”
Stage 21 Top 3
01 J. Meeus 2:56:13
02 J. Philipsen +0:00
03 D. Grenewegen +0:00
2023 Tour de France Overall General Classification
1. Jonas Vingegaard (DEN) 82:05:42
2. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) +7:29
3. Adam Yates (GBR) +10:56
4. Simon Yates (GBR) +12:23
5. Carlos Rodriguez (ESP) +13:17
6. Pello Bilbao (ESP) +13:27
7. Jai Hindley (AUS) +14:44
8. Felix Gall (AUT) +16:09
9. David Gaudu (FRA) +23:08
10. Guillaume Martin (FRA) +26:30
Stage 20 Belfort – Le Markstein Fellering – 133km 3450m
Tadej Pogačar has returned to form and taken Stage 20 of the TDF, the race now all but won by Jonas Vingegaard who will tonight sip the champagne on the largely ceremonial roll into Paris.
The final climbing day of racing saw the riders compete in a short but intense stage of 133.5km from Belfort to Le Markstein, and provided a thrilling spectacle.
The real action started around 13km from the finish when Pogačar attacked and was followed up the road by Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) and Gall (AG2R Citroen Team). There were just a handful of riders ahead including retiring Frenchman Thibaut Pinot, who climbed brilliantly through a sea of adoring fans. Video of Pinot’s performance is brilliant viewing – we’d recommend searching for it online!
The Yates & Pogačar Show
Thibaut mania settled as the main GC combatants eventually took charge of proceedings. Then the Yates twins – Adam (UAE) and Simon (Jayco AlUla) – jumped free of the chase group and caught the leading three with 5km to go. Were they working together to help help Tadej? That crossed our mind a couple of times in the final kilometres.
Simon eventually took to the front to guide Pogačar towards the line, the Slovenian powering ahead, sprinting clear of Jonas Vingegaard and convincingly winning the stage.
Pogačar is now all but set to finish second overall in this year’s Tour, as well as taking the best young rider jersey and enjoying two stage victories.
Tadej Pogačar said he finally felt like himself again. “It was wonderful to feel good from start to finish and be able to push all the way to the line after the tough days I’ve had,” he said.
“In the finale, I waited for Adam to join our group, and I must thank him because he launched me well, making it a bit easier to tackle the finish even though I was a bit nervous.
“The whole team did a great job today and throughout all the stages. Being with them during these weeks is the most beautiful thing I take home.”
Stage 20 Top 3
1.Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) 3h27’18”
2.Felix Gall (AG2R Citroen Team) s.t.
3.Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) s.t
General Classification Top 3 After Stage 20
1.Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 79h16’38”
2.Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) +7’29”
3.Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) +10’56”
Stage 19 Morains en Montagne to Poligny 172.5km
More like a one-day classic than a stage of the the Tour de France, Stage 19 was an edge-of-seat spectacle for viewers as two prominent Aussies, Simon Clarke then later Ben O’Connor battled it out for the win.
In the end it was an emotional Matej Mohorič who took the stage, but just by millimetres – the Bahrain Victorious rider winning by a whisker over Kasper Asgreen in the photo finish.
Ben O’Connor – who was in that lead group of three – finished third after attempting a last-minute solo shot for the line but was overtaken by the faster finishers.
The victory was Mohorič’s third Tour de France stage in his career and the third for Team Bahrain Victorious at this year’s race, following the victories of Pello Bilbao and Wout Poels.
Dedicating the victory to late teammate Gino Mader, Mohorič said the moment was very emotional.
“It’s been a hard month for us all, and it’s been a rollercoaster,” he said.
“This has been an incredibly hard race, and the level is hard. It’s the best bike race in the world with the best bike riders. You are suffering and struggling to hold the wheels some days.
“When I get in the right place, I try to exploit my opportunities. I went away with great riders, and even though Ben knew he wasn’t the strongest in the sprint, he tried, and we worked well together,” he added.
“Kasper was incredibly strong, and honestly, he also deserved the win. But in this Tour, the suffering and sacrifice people go through, you’d want each rider to have this chance to win a stage.”
Saturday In The Mountains
Saturday night (Australian time) delivers the final mountain stage of the 2023 Tour de France, with GC riders including Tadej Pogacar expected to battle among themselves to inch higher up the overall ladder.
Jonas Vingegaard remains at in yellow with a comfortable buffer of more than seven and a half minutes, but tonight’s viewing is highly-anticipated and will no doubt provide more thrilling viewing.
Stage 18 Môutiers and Bourg-en-Bresse – 185km
Dainish rider Kasper Asgreen sprinted to victory at Stage 18 of the Tour, the classics specialist delivering his team Soudal Quick-Step’s 50th overall TDF stage victory.
The 2021 Ronde van Vlaanderen champion’s first-ever Grand Tour victory, Asgreen said the win “means so much to me, especially after the problems I had last summer.”
Those issues? Several nasty crashes along with an ongoing fatigue syndrome. But Asgreen is clearly back, he’s firing on all cylinders and performed faultlessly over Stage 18.
“I came a long way and this result wouldn’t have been possible without all the people who helped me,” he said. “I want to dedicate this win to those who trusted me and stayed by my side, but also to (teammate) Dries Devenyns. He is racing his final Tour de France in his last season as a pro, he was very emotional at the finish, and we will miss him”, he added.
Jonas Vingegaard retains his very comfortable overall lead, being 7m 35s ahead of Tadej Pogacar with Adam Yates in third.
Stage 17 – Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc to Courchevel 160km / 5000m of climbing
There’s not a single cyclist alive who hasn’t had a bad day on the bike, and yesterday, sadly that was Tadej Pogacar’s day.
“I’m dead,” he said over team radio as he struggled on the brutal Col de Loze – considered France’s toughest climb.
“Stay with Tadej, Marc (Soler),” came the sombre but professional reply from the team car, “You go for it Adam (Yates), go for the stage.”
And that’s how the most pivotal and decisive moment of the 2023 Tour de France played out, as Jonas Vingegaard enjoyed his second absolute standout day on the bike after his scintillating Stage 16 time trial win.
With Pogacar losing more than 6-minutes to Vingegaard, the Slovenian is still second overall to the great Dane on GC, with Adam Yates third, Carlos Rodriguez third and Simon Yates fifth. Jai Hindley is currently the best-place Australian, he sits 7th overall.
“I’m super happy”, Vingegaard said after the Queen stage of the race. “We didn’t expect the lead to be more than seven minutes, even though we wanted to take some time today,” he continued.
“We didn’t change our strategy after I won the time trial. The whole team rode great, and that was the deciding factor. We executed our plan perfectly.”
Trying to remain grounded, he said “we’re not in Paris yet.”
“We have a challenging mountain stage on Saturday, so we must stay focused,” he continued.
“I expect attacks. But we are in an excellent position.”
Overall Standings After Stage 17
1. Jonas Vingegaard (DEN) 67:57:51
2. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) +7:35
3. Adam Yates (GBR) +10:45
4. Carlos Rodriguez (ESP) +12:01
5. Simon Yates (GBR) +12:19
6. Pello Bilbao (ESP) +12:50
7. Jai Hindley (AUS) +13:50
8. Felix Gall (AUT) +16:11
9. Sepp Kuss (USA) +16:49
10. David Gaudu (FRA) +17:57
Stage 16 – 22km Individual Time Trial
Jonas Vingegaard has ridden the time trial of his life to surge to close to 2 minutes ahead of main Tour de France rival Tadej Pogacar.
Sticking with his Cervelo P5 TT bike for the duration of the 22km stage – unlike many other riders who made a bike change before the final climb – Vingegaard beat teammate Wout van Aert to set the fastest time and win his first Tour de France Time Trial.
Van Aert was second fastest on the stage with Tadej Pogacar third.
Vingegaard’s win places him in prime position to win the 2023 Tour de France after also winning last year’s race. But, of course it’s the Tour, and anything can happen.
More to come.
Stage 15 Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc 179km
He’s consistently turned himself inside out for others over the years, but on Stage 15 Wout Poels finally enjoyed his first-ever Grand Tour stage victory.
Going solo on Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc, the 35-year-old Dutch rider achieved his dream and enjoyed the stunning yet emotional victory.
Poels joined the Stage 15 breakaway with more than 30 other riders. He eventually followed Wout Van Aert (Jumbo Visma) to latch on an earlier move made by Marc Soler (UAE) on Col des Aravis. As the three closed in on the final climb – the toughest of the day – Poels launched his attack leaving Van Aert behind and soloing to victory.
“I always dreamed to win a stage at the Tour,” said the veteran rider and former LBL winner. “I won a Monument and now a stage in the Tour. When you are young, you dream of it, look at all the people watching on tv and at the side of the road … the Tour is the Tour,” he said.
“I’ve had great memories at this race; this is my tenth,” continued Wout. “I’ve always worked for people, so it’s incredible to have my chance and achieve this dream. Yesterday I tried, and we didn’t manage to get much time, but today I went all in again. In the beginning, I wasn’t happy the group was so big, but we kept going, and I just had to follow the right moves, and when I saw Van Aert following Soler on the downhill, I knew that was my ticket.”
A Rest Day Before The TT
The Tour riders will now take their second rest day, then on Tuesday it’s back on with one of the most decisive stages so far – the individual time trial. Jonas Vingegaard remains just 10-seconds ahead of Tadej Pogacar and Tuesday’s TT is seen as critical for both superstars of the sport.
Stage 14 Annemasse – Morzine – Portes du Soleil 152km
Spanish national champion Carlos Rodriguez won Stage 14 of the Tour in an absolute thrilling day of bike racing that delivered joy, pain and scintillating action.
It was the Ineos Grenadiers rider’s first Grand Tour stage win, and the teams second in two days after the Kwiatkowski victory.
Dropped by lead duo Tadej Pogacar and yellow jersey Jonas Vingegaard who battled brilliantly on the final climb, Rodriguez dug deep to get back to the GC favourites and attacked them on the descent. He crossed the line a few seconds of the duelling duo Pogacar and Vingegaard who remain neck and neck for the overall title.
Rodriguez moves to third overall, just one second ahead of Jai Hindley (Bora Hansgrohe) who crashed heavily during the stage.
Earlier, the stage had started with a large crash after six kilometres, the incident so severe the race was neutralised to allow for numerous riders to receive medical attention.
Two From Two For Ineos
“It’s incredible … Just being here was a dream,” said Rodriguez. “Getting a victory in the best race in the world is something I’ve always wanted to achieve. Now I’ve got a victory. I’m super happy and super grateful to the team.”
“I just focussed on doing the best climb I could, going at my own rhythm, and then doing the descent as fast as possible,” he added.
GC Top 3 After Stage 14
|1||J. VingegaardTeam Jumbo ‑ Visma||46:34:27|
|2||T. PogacarUAE Team Emirates||+17|
|4||C. RodríguezINEOS Grenadiers||+4:22|
STAGE 13: CHÂTILLON-SUR-CHALARONNE – GRAND COLOMBIER, 137.8KM.
The Ineos Grenadiers may not be monopolising virtually every moment of the Tour de France like they were a few short years ago. But the British-based team have been putting in their fair share of effort and today it all paid off with a stunning Stage 13 victory.
Michal Kwiatkowski enjoyed the stunning solo win on the iconic Grand Colombier after making a bold attack on the final climb of the day. Earlier in the day, Kwiatkowski managed to be involved in a strong breakaway. Just over 10km from the finish he backed himself for the win, went for it, and succeeded.
“When I got into the breakaway I thought that this was maybe just a free ticket into the bottom of the climb or something like that,” Michal Kwiatkowski said.
“This morning we just really didn’t want to miss any big breakaway – like any day. I just found probably the best legs that I’ve ever had in my life…I didn’t believe that’s possible but here I am,” he added.
“Winning on the top of a mountain like Grand Colombier – today the last effort was probably one of the hardest of my life but I managed myself well, paced myself well and that was going to be a long effort. Without them (the mountainside fans) I guess that wouldn’t have been possible.”
Caleb Pulls Out Of TDF
In other news today, Aussie sprinter Caleb Ewan pulled out of the 2023 Tour de France mid stage – the 29yo being dropped well before the final climb, then the news broke that he’d abandoned the race. A bittersweet day for team Lotto Dstny, Caleb’s teammate Maxim Van Gils finished second on the stage. The team later issued a statement that read ‘it’s a day of mixed feelings as Caleb was forced to abandon the Tour. After struggling with fatigue for several days, he fought hard but it just wasn’t possible to continue.’
Pogacar Creeps Ahead
Tadej Pogacar managed to reduce his time gap to overall leader Jonas Vingegaard on the Grande Colombier climb. Pogacar is now just nine seconds behind Vingegaard, with Jai Hindley 2m 40s back in third.
Stage 12 – Roanne to Belleville-en-Beaujolais – 169km
After not basking in a Tour de France stage victory since 2008, French team Cofidis, have now enjoyed a second win with Ion Izagirre going solo to win Stage 12.
The 34yo Basque rider’s 30km solo victory came 10 days after French teammate Victor Lafay’s win in San Sebastián, on stage two.
So far as breakaways go, it was a classic and provided thrilling and exciting viewing.
“For the whole Tour so far I tried to break away and it didn’t work out but today, yes,” Izagirre said.
“I was confident in my strength. I knew that if I earned enough lead, my adversaries wouldn’t have me in sight and it would play in my favor.”
Mathieu Burgaudeau crossed the line second with Matteo Jorgenson third.
Stage 13 takes riders to Col du Grand Colombier and it’s iconic 17.4-km ascent at 7.1%. All attention will no doubt again be on Pogacar and Vingegaard, and of course Australia’s Jai Hindley who’s third overall.
Stage 11 – 180km Clermont-Ferrand to Moulins 180km
Jasper Philipsen is in the box seat to take the very rare achievement of five Tour de France stage wins in a single year after his latest sprint victory.
The Belgian fast man has now scooped each of the four sprint finishes of the 2023 Tour, and today won against Dylan Groenewegen and Phil Bauhaus. Sadly Aussie powerhouse Caleb Ewan wasn’t able to properly contest the sprint after being boxed in during the final run to the line and unable to launch his attack.
A thrilled Philpsen said it has been an incredible Tour so far, and he hopes to keep the Green Jersey all the way to Paris.
“I can’t realise how good it’s all going,” said the in-form sprinter of the year. “I’m just super proud and really happy with my shape. To get through the final without problems is also a big challenge and we managed to do it already four times in a row so I’m super happy.”
Winning his first stage without the assistance of teammate Matthieu van der Poel, Philipsen said “of course he makes it easier.”
“I had to find my wheel a little today,” he said. “And finding the space it’s technical and a bit dangerous for crashing. I’m happy I can find a good wheel of Groenewegen and he opened up early so I could go over.”
The General Classification remains unchanged with Jonas Vingegaard 17 seconds ahead of Tadej Pogacar. Aussie Jai Hindley remains in third place overall, 2 minutes 40 seconds back.
Stage 11 Top 10
1. Jasper Philipsen
2. Dylaan Groenewegen
3. Phil Bauhaus
4. Bryan Coquard
5. Mads Pedersen
6. Alexander Kristoff
7. Luca Mozzato
8. Peter Sagan
9. Wout van Aert
10. Sam Welsford
Stage 10 – Vulcania – Issoire 167km
Bahrain Victorious rider Pello Bilbao took his first career Tour de France win to take Stage 10 today.
Bilbao won in a thrilling reduced bunch sprint in Issoire, with Aussie Ben O’Connor in on the action and placing third.
In emotional scenes at the podium presentation, Bilbao dedicated the victory to his late team-mate Gino Mader who tragically passed away during the Tour de Swiss last month.
“It was hard to prepare the last two weeks with him (Mader) in mind,” said Bilbao.
“But staying with my family at home helped me a lot, just to keep calm, be positive and put all my positive energy to try to do something nice in the Tour.”
“This is my first victory in the Tour in 13 years as a pro … it is such a special moment for me.”
The peloton arrived at the line around three minutes later with Jonas Vingegaard retaining the yellow jersey and his 17-second advantage over GC rival Tadej Pogacar.
Tomorrow’s Stage 11 delivers one of the final true opportunities for the sprinters prior to the last day of the 2023 Tour de France, the run into Paris.
Top 10 Overall After Stage 10
1. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) – 42h 33’ 13’’
2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +17secs
3. Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) +2mins 40secs
4. Carlos Rodriguez Cano (Ineos Grenadiers) +4mins 22secs
5. Pello Bilbao Lopez (Bahrain Victorious) +4mins 34secs
6. Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) +4mins 39secs
7. Simon Yates (Team Jayco Alula) +4mins 44secs
8. Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) +5mins 26secs
9. David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) +6mins 01secs
10. Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) +6mins 45secs
Stage 9 Saint Leonard de Noblat – Puy de Dome 182km
The most thrilling and enthralling stage of the 2023 Tour de France yet? It’s subjective, but that seems to be the consensus! Israel Premier Tech’s Michael Woods enjoyed his maiden Tour de France stage victory on the steep slopes of the revered Puy de Dôme on Sunday.
“I’m so happy,” said the 36yo Canadian. “Winning a stage in the Tour is something I’ve always wanted to do, and talked about doing, but is never something I’ve achieved and I finally did it today.”
With the challenging mountain top finish perfectly suiting his style, Woods initially went all in with Canadian teammate Guillaume Boivin.
Eventually, the break got away and managed to distance the pack, and this was the genesis of Woods move.
“The plan today was perfect”, Team Manager Rik Verbrugghe later said. “We had different scenarios but the ideal was to have Mike and Guillaume in the breakaway, even if everyone could have been there. Today, it all worked out perfectly. I’m so proud of the guys.”
Woods said he tried not to worry about attacks from Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar Team) – but focus upon himself and ride hard all the way to the top.
“It was only with 800 meters to go that I knew I had a shot,” he said. “I’m super happy with how it turned out.”
GC Top 5 After Stage 9
- Jonas Vingegaard (DEN, Jumbo-Visma) 38h 37’46”
- Tadej Pogacar (SLO, UAE Team Emirates) +17″
- Jai Hindley (AUS, Bora-Hansgrohe) +2:40″
- Carlos Rodriguez Cano (ESP, Ineos Grenadiers) +4:22″
- Adam Yates (GBR, UAE Team Emirates) +4:39″
Stage 8 Libourne – Limoges 200.7km
Mads Pederson emerged as the victor in the fast & thrilling finish of Stage 8 of the Tour de France, on an otherwise sad and historic day in the history of the world’s greatest cycling race.
Competing in his final Tour, and yearning for just one more stage win to take the all-time record from Eddy Merckx, Mark Cavendish crashed out of the race and left, clutching his shoulder, in the back of an ambulance.
Finishing 2nd to Jasper Philipsen on Stage 7, Cavendish will forever remain level with the great Eddy Merckx on 34 Tour de France Stage victories. Fittingly, 38yo Cavendish bows out of Tour history as competitive, gritty and talented as ever. We’ll have more news to come after Mark Cavendish speaks with media in coming days.
Meanwhile, Lidl-Trek rider Mads Pederson’s result was super-impressive, the former World Champion fending off the formidable competition of Jasper Philipsen and Wout van Aert. Pederson completed the stage in an impressive time of 4 hours, 12 minutes, and 26 seconds.
Van Aert, who had been in a promising position to claim the stage victory, was unfortunately impeded by his own teammate Christophe Laporte. This forced Van Aert to apply the brakes, hindering his momentum. Nevertheless, he managed to recover and secure third overall.
In the General Classification, Jonas Vingegaard maintains his hold on the coveted Yellow Jersey with Tadej Pogacar in second and Jai Hindley in third.
Stage 8 Top 5
- Mads Pederson (DEN, Lidl – Trek) 4:12:26
- Jasper Philipsen (BEL, Alpecin – Deceuninck) +0″
- Wout van Aert (BEL, Jumbo-Visma) +0″
- Dylan Groenewegen (NED, Jayco AlUla) +0″
- Nils Eekhoff (NED, Team DSM – Firmenich) +0″
Stage 7 – Mont-de-Marsan – Bordeaux
Jasper Philipsen has made it three from three at the Tour de France, the standout sprinter of the race winning again in Bordeaux today.
But veteran fast man Mark Cavendish came agonisingly close to taking his 35th TDF stage win, he was leading the sprint and in sight of the line only to have Philipsen come around him and win by a bike length.
Cavendish also suffered bad luck, the 38yo having his gears jump several times while he was zeroing in on the line.
“I kicked a little earlier than I’d like, but actually, still about the same time as I did in 2010,” recounted Cav, referring to his previous Tour de France sprint victory in Bordeaux 13 years ago.
“Once I kicked, I started, the gears jumped from the 11 to the 12, I had to sit down. Cadence just whacks up. Then it goes back to the 11th, I tried to stand up. I needed to sit down. There was nothing you could do except, like, kind of hope. I’m bitterly disappointed there. I’m really disappointed, but we keep on trying,” he added.
Philipsen wished Cavendish well and also said he’d like to see him take the record, and also thanked his Alpecin Deceuninck teammates and in particular his #1 leadout man Matthieu van der Poel.
“If you told me three stage wins one week ago I’d think you were crazy,” he said. “So far it’s a dream Tour for us and hopefully we can add another one.
“Cavendish was really strong. I would also have loved to see him win, I think everybody would, but I’m sure he will keep on trying. He’s up there, in good condition, and it will be hard.”
Although Philipsen did win, they’re was conjecture over how he won with two teams lodging complaints after alleging he deviated from his line. A penalty would have resulted in Cavendish being awarded the win, and therefore his elusive 35th Tour de France stage victory.
The race continues tomorrow with the 200km Stage 8 from Libourne to Limoges.
STAGE 6 – TARBES – CAUTERETS-CAMBASQUE 149km
The past two stages of the Tour de France have had more ups, downs, highs and lows than a month on the stockmarket! A casual viewer tuning in today could well have thought they were watching stage 19 or 20, the battle was that intense. But still we are in the first week of what’s becoming an absolute thriller of a Tour de France.
Tadej Pogacar either had a bad day yesterday, with Aussie Jai Hindley victoriously pouncing and taking Stage 5 and the Yellow Jersey, or he was bluffing.
But today both Pogacar and key rival (and defending champion ) Jonas Vingegaard were on a completely different level. Stage 6 was less than 150km, but it showcased some of the most thrilling man-on-man racing of the past decade, and viewers witnessed one of the strongest attacks in recent memory.
The action started on the Tourmalet and continued through the afternoon. The crescendo come as Jonas & Pogacar fought tooth and nail from around 5km to go.
Launching from around 2km to go, Pogacar’s pivotal move was basically 3-2-1… lift off. He accelerated away from Vingegaard in a manner we haven’t seen in years. Staying clear, Pogacar went on to win the stage and climb to second overall on GC.
Hindley Hands The Jersey To Jonas
Vingegaard now leads the race, with Aussie Jai Hindley relinquishing the famed jersey after just 24hrs of temporary ownership.
“I wanted to win the stage, but Pogacar was very strong at the end of the last climb,” said Jonas after donning the yellow jersey for the first time in 2023.
“Just like yesterday, we made the race hard. The goal was to test Pogacar early again. We did that on the Tourmalet, but we couldn’t release him.”
Vingegaard gained over two minutes on (former) yellow jersey wearer Jai Hindley
“I’m thrilled about it, it’s a huge honour,” said the 26yo Dane.
“The yellow jersey is the most iconic in cycling. I am where I want to be now, but the Tour de France is far from over”, he added.
Top 3 GC After Stage 6
1: Jonas Vingegaard 26h 10m 44s
2: Tadej Pogacar +25s
3: Jai Hindley +1m34s
Stage 6 – Tarbes to Cauterets-Cambasque – 144.9km
Today’s Stage 6 is set to be another high-mountain thriller. Again, it will be fascinating to see how the top GC contenders play it, particularly after Jai Hindley took so much time and went into Yellow yesterday.
Stage 6 is the race’s second part of the passage through the Pyrenees and includes the mighty Tourmalet plus a stage finish at Cauterets-Cambasque. There are 3817 meters of climbing in the 144.9km route.
The final 16km climb has only been used once in Tour de France history (in 1989), and is set to be a real test test for the lead contenders.
Climbs of the day include –
Côte de Capvern-les-Bains / 5,6km à 4,8%
Col d’Aspin / 12km à 6,5%
Col du Tourmalet / 17,1km à 7,3%
Cauterets-Cambasque / 16km à 5,4%
Stage 5 – Pau to Laruns 162.7km
West Australian Jai Hindley has claimed the first mountain stage of the 2023 Tour de France and well and truly taken the Yellow Jersey after a stellar Stage 5 performance.
Getting to the breakaway of the day, he attacked on Col de Marie Blanc and held off attacks by big name rivals to sit well ahead of rivals.
Well aware it’s still only very early days, Jai said the stage victory was “really incredible …I have no words.”
“The guys in the radio were just screaming at me to ride to the line,” he recounted. “I couldn’t really hear so much what was happening. I just wanted to take as much time as possible – and also the stage win – and, yeah, found myself in the yellow jersey, so that’s pretty cool.”
The 2022 Giro d’Italia winner said being his first Tour de France, he didn’t know what to expect from the race thus far.
“It’s my first Tour and it’s hard to come here with massive ambitions. But for sure I wanted to come and be competitive and have some form of success – and I’ve just won a stage of the Tour.”
Jonas Vingegaard is 47 seconds behind Hindley and sits second overall. Vingegaard left fellow overall favourite Tadej Pogacar on the day’s penultimate climb, the ‘The Pog’ finishing the stage 1 minute and 40 seconds behind Hindley.
Top 10 Overall After Stage 5
- Jai Hindley (AUS, Bora-Hansgrohe) 22hr 15’12”
- Jonas Vingegaard (DEN, Jumbo-Visma) +47″
- Giulio Ciccone (ITA, Lidl – Trek) +1:03″
- Emanuel Buchmann (GER, BORA – hansgrohe) +1:11″
- Adam Yates (GBR, UAE Team Emirates) +1:34″
- Tadej Pogacar (SLO, UAE Team Emirates) +1:40″
- Simon Yates (Team Jayco AlUla) +1:40″
- Mattias Skjelmose (DEN, Lidl – Trek) +1:56″
- Carlos Rodriguez Cano (ESP, Ineos Grenadiers) +1:56″
- David Gaudu (Groupama – FDJ) +1:56″
Stage 4 – Dax to Nogaro – 181km
Jasper Philipsen has made it two in a row, the Alpecin-Deceuninck sprinter winning yesterday’s Stage 3 and today’s Stage 4 of the Tour de France.
But much more importantly in our completely unbiased opinion, Caleb Ewan finished 2nd to Philipsen today, on the back of his 3rd place yesterday.
“I have the speed to win, but for that all the puzzle pieces have to fit together,” Caleb said after the thrilling finish on the Nogaro Racetrack south of Bordeaux.
“Even though it is a sour second place, it is nice to compete for the stage victory. At least I’m getting closer and I’ll keep trying.”
A super close finish, the final kilometres of the stage was hectic with two seperate high-speed crashes, one that saw Fabio Jacobsen crash heavily, but fortunately getting back on his bike to cross the line.
Easy Stage, Fast Finish
“It was a really easy stage,” said Jasper Philipsen after claiming his 4th Tour de France stage win.
“I think everybody wanted to save their legs for the Pyrenees tomorrow and the day after. In the final kilometres entering the circuit there were some crashes so I hope everybody is OK and safe.
“It was a hectic final with the turns in the end and I lost my team as well, but in the final straight I found Mathieu and he did an amazing pull to get me to victory. My legs were cramping and Caleb was coming close.”
Mark Cavendish was again in the mix, the soon-to-retire ‘Manx Missile’ dodging, weaving and doing his best to match it with Philipsen and Ewan. But as the top two sprinters of this year’s Tour were throwing their bikes over the line, Cav was still sprinting for fifth.
The race heads into the Pyrenees for Stage 5, with a 15km climb to the summit of Col de Soudet being one of the highlights of the day. Cavendish, Ewan and Philipsen will have to wait until a fast finish into Bordeaux on Friday for their next opportunity to shine.
Stage 4 Top 10
1. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) 4hrs 25mins 28sec
2. Caleb Ewan (Lotto Dstny) Same time
3. Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious)
4. Bryan Coquard (Cofidis)
5. Mark Cavendish (Astana Qazaqstan)
6. Danny van Poppel (Bora-Hansgrohe)
7. Alexander Kristoff (Uno-X Pro Cycling)
8. Luka Mezgec (Team Jayco-AlUla)
9. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma)
10. Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek)
General Classification After Stage 4
1. Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) 18hrs 18mins 1sec
2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +6sec
3. Simon Yates (Team Jayco-AlUla) +6sec
4. Victor Lafay (Cofidis) +12sec
5. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) +16sec
6. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) +17sec
7. Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) +22sec
8. Michael Woods (Israel-Premier Tech) +22sec
9. Mattias Skjelmose (Lidl-Trek) +22sec
10. Carlos Rodriguez Cano (Ineos Grenadiers) +22sec
Stage 3 – Amorebieta-Etxano to Bayonne, 193.5km
Jasper Philipsen has set the benchmark at the 2023 Tour de France, the Belgian making the first all-in sprint finish look easy in Bayonne on Monday afternoon. But it may not have been as easy as Philipsen portrayed, the Alpecin-Deceuninck fast-man was led out by lightening-quick teammate Mathieu van der Poel with Philipsen later saying “It’s not easy to stay on Mathieu’s wheel.”
From an Australian perspective, the highlight was definitely seeing Caleb Ewan cross the line third, just behind Phil Bauhaus in second. A ‘23 Tour de France stage podium will be comforting for Caleb who’s had a bad run over the past few months and is desperately seeking the kick and speed he’s renowned for.
The other notable sprinter in the race, Mark Cavendish – who is seeking just one more Tour de France stage win to take the all-time record from Eddy Merckx – was there in the mix finishing sixth.
The first all-in sprint finish of this year’s Tour wasn’t without conjecture with Wout van Aert initially appearing to be boxed in when trying to pass Philipsen on the inside of the final bend. Race commissaries viewed video of the finish for several minutes prior to confirming had indeed won.
Tuesday’s Stage 4 of the Tour will present another opportunity for the sprinters, with Mark Cavendish hinting the Nogaro finish is one he’s got in his sights.
Stage 3 Top 10
- Jasper Philipsen (BEL, Alpecin-Deceuninck) 4hr 43’15”
- Phil Bauhaus (GER, Bahrain – Victorious) +0″
- Caleb Ewan (AUS, Lotto Dstny) +0″
- Fabio Jakobsen (NED, Soudal – Quick Step) +0″
- Wout van Aert (BEL, Jumbo-Visma) +0″
- Mark Cavendish (GBR, Astana Qazaqstan Team) +0″
- Jordi Meeus (BEL, BORA – hansgrohe) +0″
- Dylan Groenewegen (NED, Team Jayco AlUla) +0
- Mads Pedersen (DEN, Lidl – Trek) +0″
- 10.Bryan Coquard (FRA, Cofidis) +0″
Stage 2 – 210km from Vitoria-Gasteiz to San Sebastián
15-years after their last Tour de France stage win, but less than 24-hours after saying Victor Lafay ‘has the form and motivation to take stage victories’, the 27yo Cofidis rider won Stage 2 of the 2023 Tour.
Perfectly timing a jump within 800m of the San Sebastian finish line, Lafay went solo and held off 25 of the world’s fastest bike riders including Wout van Aert who finished second.
After proving he was at his best yesterday, and seemingly matching the duelling Pogacar and Vingegaard over the day’s toughest climb, Lafay said being able to ride at the same tempo as the overall favourites “was incredible.”
“I told my teammates that I felt really good,” he said. “When I passed in front, Pogacar immediately took my wheel and behind him he had a teammate to take advantage of the situation. In times like these, you have to be able to trust yourself.”
It was during the stage to seaside San Sebastián just 24 hours later, on a steep and technical course made all the more difficult by light rain, that he executed his magic and broke the deeply-French team’s TDF drought that started way back in 2008.
Understating his abilities, Lafay said “I am in good condition so it allows to be optimistic for the future.”
After the team’s drought-breaking victory Lafay said “we came into this Tour determined not to finish empty handed. This victory is going to do a lot of good to all of us.”
Stage 1 winner Adam Yates retains the Yellow Jersey with two-time overall winner Tadej Pogacar six seconds behind him. Simon Yates is another six seconds back in third.
Two stages into the Tour and the overriding theme is that the pace has well and truly been on since the start flag dropped just a day ago. Today’s racing was incredibly fast, reactive and aggressive. Cycling fans are certainly in for a thrilling three weeks, the 2023 Tour de France looks set to be on for the ages.
Top 10 Overall After Stage 2
1: Adam Yates 9h09m18s
2: Tadej Pogacar +6s
3: Simon Yates +6s
4: Victor Lafay +12s
5: Wout van Aert +16s
6: Jonas Vingegaard +17s
7: Michael Woods +22s
8: Mattias Skjelmose +22s
9: Jai Hindley +22s
10: Michel Landa +22s
Stage 1 – 182km Bilbao circuit
Adam Yates will be the first to race in the famed Yellow Jersey after beating his twin brother Simon to the line at Stage 1 of the 2023 Tour de France.
His first Tour with UAE Team Emirates, team mate and two-time TDF winner Tadej Pogacar finished third on the opening stage of the 110th ‘Grande Boucle.’
Speaking after the stage, Adam said the Yates 1-2 was a particularly poignant occasion, with mama and papa Yates also in the crowd watching.
Twin brothers and close friends, after the stage Adam said the two get on famously and catch up daily.
“He lives just five minutes away,” Adam said.
“I saw him this morning before the start and he asked what my plans were. Obviously I couldn’t tell him,” continued Adam.
“I’m sure he’ll be a pain in the ass for me somewhere later along the road though,” he added.
Simon agreed, saying the two have a solid relationship and he was thrilled to see Adam in Yellow.
“But I’ll stick it to him in a couple of days,” added the Team Jayco-AlUla rider.
Stage 2 kicks of just after 12 noon local time (GMT +2), and will be raced over 210 hilly kilometres from Vitoria-Gasteiz to Donostia San Sebastián.
Stage 1 Top 10 (Same as overall GC)
1. Adam Yates (GB/UAE Team Emirates) 4hrs 22mins 49secs
2. Simon Yates (GB/Team Jayco-AlUla) +4secs
3. Tadej Pogacar (Slo/UAE Team Emirates) +12secs
4. Thibaut Pinot (Fra/Groupama-FDJ) Same time
5. Michael Woods (Can/Israel-Premier Tech)
6. Victor Lafay (Fra/Cofidis)
7. Jai Hindley (Aus/Bora-hansgrohe)
8. Mattias Skjlemose (Den/Lidl-Trek)
9. Jonas Vingegaard (Den/Jumbo-Visma)
10. David Gaudu (Fra/Groupama-FDJ)
A big thanks to Rouvy who are supporting our 2023 TDF coverage – you can check out their impressive augmented reality training platform at www.ROUVY.com