Tour de France

Tour de France (34)

Jonas Vingegaard declared his impending Tour de France title win is the "biggest in cycling" after increasing his lead on the penultimate stage.

The Dane's second place behind Team Jumbo-Visma team-mate Wout van Aert in Saturday's stage 20 time-trial saw him add eight seconds to his advantage over Tadej Pogacar, meaning he has a lead of over three-and-a-half minutes heading into Sunday's final stage.

Vingegaard is set to secure his first Tour title in Paris, and with tears in his eyes, he outlined what it means to him, especially after finishing second behind Pogacar last year.

"It means everything to me," he said. "It's really incredible. It's hard for me to put words on it. It's the biggest win in cycling.

"Since last year, I always believed I could do it. It's a relief that I did. I'm just so happy and proud."

Vingegaard detailed how determined the team was to right the wrongs of two years ago, when Pogacar overturned the lead of another Jumbo-Visma rider, Primoz Roglic, to pip him to the yellow jersey.

"What happened two years ago, we always thought about it and we didn't want it to happen again," he said. "We just wanted to go for it today. [The emotion] just shows how close everyone is in this team. It's a special thing we have."

Pogacar was reflective after finishing third on Saturday, but anticipates many more battles between himself and Vingegaard.

"It's been a good three weeks, with many ups and downs, with lots of bad luck for my team, but the battle between me and Jonas for the yellow jersey has been very special," Pogacar said.

"I think we have some very interesting next two or three years ahead of us. Jonas has stepped up his game this year. I'm motivated and looking forward to the next challenges."

Jonas Vingegaard is poised to win his first Tour de France title on Sunday after all-but finishing off the job in a stage 20 time trial that was won by Wout van Aert.

Vingegaard's Team Jumbo–Visma team-mate Van Aert produced a stunning ride to win the 40.7km stage from Lacapelle-Marival to Rocamadour on Saturday.

Dane Vingegaard - who went into penultimate stage with a near three-and-a-half minute lead over rival Tadej Pogacar - crossed the line 19 seconds slower than Van Aert in second spot, but eight quicker than the third-placed two-time defending champion.

Vingegaard is set to secure the general classification title in Paris and was understandably emotional after finishing the time trial, embracing his wife as the scale of his achievement sunk in.

It could have been a very different story though, as Vingegaard came within inches of crashing in the closing stages, with his tyres clipping a grass verge and almost hitting a wall.

Geraint Thomas, who sits third in the GC standings, also put in a strong showing, finishing in fourth place.

Christophe Laporte became the first Frenchman to win on this year's Tour de France after sprinting to victory on stage 19, while Jonas Vingegaard edged closer to general classification glory.

Laporte had largely played a supporting role for his excellent Jumbo-Visma team-mate Vingegaard, the yellow jersey holder and King of the Mountains victor.

But Laporte came to the fore on the 188.3-kilometre route from Castelnau-Magnoac to Cahors, overtaking Fred Wright to sprint to victory and secure Jumbo-Visma's fifth stage win of the Tour.

Wright headed the leading group, alongside Jasper Stuyven and Alexis Gougeard, with just under 30km to go, but Laporte produced a perfectly timed attack to leave the trio in his wake in Cahors.

Laporte was indebted to the work of his team-mates to support his late charge and revealed Wout van Aert's message of encouragement before the race had spurred him to glory.

"I am super happy. I find it hard to realise. Wout said to me, 'Today is for you'. The last time he said that to me was at Paris-Nice, so here it brings me luck," Laporte told broadcaster RMC after his victory.

"One and a half kilometres from the finish, I made the jump to catch up with those who were in front. I threw it from afar so that they wouldn't come back, and it worked.

"It's incredible. It's more than just a reward, it's huge!"

Vingegaard finished safely behind the leading riders in 13th, with his lead over defending champion Tadej Pogacar staying at three minutes and 26 seconds.


Laporte made the bold call to move away through the streets of Cohors and, helped by his Jumbo-Visma team-mates, was duly rewarded.

The 29-year-old ensured France will not end Le Tour without a stage winner, as they did in 1926 and 1999, while he secured his first stage win in his eighth appearance.


1. Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma) 3:52:04
2. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) +0:01
3. Alberto Dainese (Team DSM) +0:01
4. Florian Senechal (Quick-Step-Alpha Vinyl Team) +0:01
5. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +0:01


General Classification

1. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 75:45:39
2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +3:26
3. Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers) +8:00

Points Classification

1. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) 460
2. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) 236
3. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 235

King of the Mountains

1. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 72
2. Simon Geschke (Cofidis) 64
3. Giulio Ciccone (Trek–Segafredo) 61

Jonas Vingegaard raced to victory on stage 18 of the Tour de France to extend his general classification lead as Jumbo-Visma all but clinched the three main jerseys.

Vingegaard started the 143.2-kilometre route between Lourdes and Hautacam, the last mountain stage of Le Tour, with a lead of two minutes and 18 seconds over defending champion Tadej Pogacar.

But Jumbo-Visma star Vingegaard stretched that lead to three minutes and 26 seconds on Thursday, with team-mate Wout van Aert starring before allowing the Dane to take over in the final four kilometres to triumph.

Numerous riders tried and failed to contest with the yellow jersey contenders throughout the climb, with a moment of sportsmanship between Pogacar and Vingegaard coming with 28 kilometres to go.

Vingegaard almost crashed, but it was Pogacar who ended up falling in the descent. The Dane then slowed in front to wait for the UAE Team Emirates rider before the pair shook hands and continued.

"I think he kind of missed the corner and then he went down into the gravel. The bike disappeared. I waited for him," Vingegaard said of the incident after victory before dedicating the win to his team.

"It's incredible. This morning, I said to my girlfriend and my daughter that I wanted to win for them and I did. This one is for my two girls back home.

"I was just happy that it finally ended. I am so really happy that I won the stage, but there are more days to come.

"Luckily, I have to thank all my team-mates. You see Wout van Aert dropped Pogacar in the end. Everyone was incredible. They were all incredible."


Vingegaard was quick to quell talk of his potential yellow jersey victory, telling reporters: "I don't want to talk about it. Let's talk about it in two days."

But the 25-year-old is on the verge of securing both the general classification (GC) and king of the mountains titles, which would halt Pogacar's search for history, while Van Aert comfortably leads the points classification.

Pogacar has been aiming to become the first rider since Richard Virenque to win the polka dot best climber's jersey in three consecutive editions, and the second to win his first three Tour de France races after Eddy Merckx, who triumphed in the GC on his first five attempts.


1. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 3:59:50
2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +1:04
3. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) +2:10
4. Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers) +2:54
5. David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) +2:58


General Classification

1. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 71:53:34
2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +3:26
3. Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers) +8:00

Points Classification

1. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) 451
2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 219
3. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) 196

King of the Mountains

1. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 72
2. Simon Geschke (Cofidis) 64
3. Giulio Ciccone (Trek–Segafredo) 61

Chris Froome was forced to abandon the Tour de France on Thursday as the four-time champion tested positive for COVID-19.

The British rider sat 26th overall after Wednesday's stage 17, having spent over 69 hours on the road for the Israel Premier-Tech team.

The 37-year-old achieved his best Tour stage result since 2018 when he finished third on stage 12 up the Alpe d'Huez.

After a huge crash at the 2019 Criterium du Dauphine, Froome was left in intensive care with multiple serious injuries. He looked nailed on for his best general classification result in a Grand Tour since then as the riders edged closer to the finish in Paris this Sunday.

However, in a video message posted on his Twitter page, Froome said he had received "pretty disappointing news".

"A test has revealed that I've contracted COVID, so I'm not going to be taking the start today," he said.

"I'm really disappointed not to be able to roll into Paris and finish off this Tour de France. It's been an extremely special race for us as a team and me personally as well. I've been finding my legs again.

"I'm going to head home now, switch off for a few days, and refocus on being ready for the Vuelta a Espana later this season."

The Vuelta begins in the Netherlands on August 19, with a time-trial opener in Utrecht, before taking place in Spain from stage four onwards.

Hugo Houle dedicated victory on stage 16 of the Tour de France to his late brother as Jonas Vingegaard kept a tight hold on the yellow jersey.

Canadian Houle lost brother Pierrik in December 2012 when he died in a hit-and-run crash while jogging in Sainte-Perpetue, Quebec.

Almost 10 years later, Houle pointed to the sky as he crossed the line alone after the 178.5-kilometre ride from Carcassonne to Foix, earning his first Grand Tour stage win.

"This one is for my brother, man," said an emotional Houle, moments later.

The riders were put to the test over the climbs of Port de Lers and Mur de Peguere in the second half of Tuesday's stage, as the race reached the Pyrenees after a rest day.

The three days in the mountains only get tougher from here, and Vingegaard and Tadej Pogacar will be duking it out in the push for the peaks before they look to clinch victory in Paris on Sunday. Geraint Thomas remains third, with the top three starting the day precisely as they began it.

Pogacar and Vingegaard were playing cat and mouse on Port de Lers, with the man in yellow refusing to let his nearest rival make up any ground in the general classification, practically setting up camp on his back wheel.

Far away in the distance, Houle (Israel-Premier Tech) was almost riding a separate race, with France's Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ) taking second place, over a minute down the road, and Houle's fellow Canadian and team-mate Michael Woods in third.

Matteo Jorgensen came off on a corner late on as his grip gave way, costing the American valuable seconds that pushed him out of contention to win the stage, eventually coming home fourth.

Brotherly love as Houle savours long-awaited win

Houle was close to tears as he took in the magnitude of his victory.

He said: "I never win a race, so I guess it's the right place to win my first race.

"When I attacked, it was basically to set the table for Michael Woods. When I saw they let me go, Mike made a gap, I just went full gas. At the end, I hung on. I was suffering so bad in the steep climbs.

"I made it, and it means a lot to me. I had one dream: to win the stage for my brother who died when I turned professional, and today that one is for him. I've worked for 10, 12 years, and today I got my win for him, so it's incredible. I'm just so happy."


1. Hugo Houle (Israel-Premier Tech) 4:23:47
2. Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ) +1:10
3. Michael Woods (Israel-Premier Tech) +1:10
4. Matteo Jorgensen (Movistar) +1:12
5. Michael Storer (Groupama-FDJ) +1:25


General Classification

1. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 64:28:09
2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates) +2:22
3. Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers) +2:43

Points Classification

1. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) 399
2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates) 182
3. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) 176

King of the Mountains

1. Simon Geschke (Cofidis) 58
2. Louis Meintjes (Intermarche–Wanty–Gobert Materiaux) 39
3. Neilson Powless (EF Education–Easypost) 37

Michael Matthews held off a challenge from Alberto Bettiol to win stage 14 of the Tour de France, while Jonas Vingegaard kept Tadej Pogacar's challenge for the yellow jersey at arm's length.

The 192.5km race from Saint-Etienne to Mende saw a leading group of Matthews, Luis Leon Sanchez and Felix Grossschartner pull away with a few kilometres remaining, only for the chasing group to reach them inside the final 3km.

Bettiol then produced an impressive effort to not only catch Matthews, but overtake him, though the Australian came back to ultimately take the victory, his first in the Tour de France in five years.

The Team BikeExchange–Jayco rider had already finished second twice in this year's tour at Longwy and Lausanne, but showed immense grit to climb to the win on Saturday, producing a second wind to fight off the challenge of Bettiol and go one better.

Matthews achieved an average speed of 45.6km/h in the last 52km, and said after his win: "“I think it's pretty much the story of my career. I've had so many rollercoasters up and down but my wife and my daughter kept believing in me. How many times have I been smashed down but I always get back up? 

"This was for my daughter today; she's four years old and I really just wanted to show her why I'm away all the time and what I do it for. And today was that day.

"Today was that day. I wanted to show everybody I'm not just a sprinter. I can ride like I rode today."

The battle for the yellow jersey saw Pogacar try to pull away from Vingegaard to make up some of the 2:22 second deficit on the General Classification leader, but the duo eventually finished with the same time, over 12 minutes behind Matthews.

The efforts of both against one another did see them pull away from Geraint Thomas, who remains in third place in the GC, though lost 17 seconds on the two ahead of him.

Mixed day for Aussie riders

It has been a bad time of late for Lotto Soudal rider Caleb Ewan, with a nightmare Giro d'Italia earlier in the year and a Tour de France to so far forget, including a crash during Friday's stage 13 leaving him injured.

The Australian did not have quite the Saturday his compatriot Matthews enjoyed, but Ewan's mission was simply to make it through within the cut-off time, which he was able to do, albeit nearly 40 minutes after Matthews had sealed victory.


1. Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange–Jayco) 4:30:53
2. Alberto Bettiol (EF Education–Easypost) +0:15
3. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) +0:34
4. Marc Soler (UAE–Team Emirates) +0:50
5. Patrick Konrad (BORA–hansgrohe) +0:58


General Classification

1. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 55:31:01
2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates) +2:22
3. Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers) +2:43

Points Classification

1. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) 333
2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates) 164
3. Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) 155

King of the Mountains

1. Simon Geschke (Cofidis) 46
2. Louis Meintjes (Intermarche–Wanty–Gobert Materiaux) 39
3. Neilson Powless (EF Education–Easypost) 37

Four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome has "no regrets" after he fought to finish third on stage 12 up the Alpe d'Huez.

The stage was won by fellow Brit Tom Pidcock on his Tour de France debut, but Froome's third-place finish was a brilliant side story in another engaging day.

After a huge crash at the 2019 Criterium du Dauphine, Froome was left in intensive care with multiple serious injuries.

The incident threatened to end his career, but after a long recovery Froome has now achieved his best Tour de France stage finish since 2018.

Having been part of a five-man breakaway over the penultimate ascent, Froome managed to stick with the lead group right the way up the famous final climb of Thursday's stage.

Despite finishing over two minutes behind Pidcock, the Israel-Premier Tech rider was understandably proud of his performance, and told reporters: "No regrets today.

"Naturally, I would have loved to have put my hands up and tried to win the stage.

"But I gave it absolutely everything I had today and I don't have any regrets.

"I think where I've come from the last three years, battling back after my accident, to finish third on one of the hardest stages on the tour, I can be really happy with that.

"I'm going to keep pushing, I don't know where my limits are. I'm going to keep trying to improve and hopefully get back to winning ways again."

Tom Pidcock marked his Tour de France debut with a stunning ride on stage 12, while race leader Jonas Vingegaard held off Tadej Pogacar.

Up the famous Alpe d'Huez, on Bastille Day, Olympic gold medallist Pidcock stormed to a remarkable, record-setting triumph – his first Grand Tour stage win.

Having attacked with 10 kilometres of the climb remaining, approaching the culmination of a 165.5km ride on Thursday, the 22-year-old Yorkshireman saw off Louis Meintjes to claim a remarkable triumph.

In the process, Pidcock – who was part of a five-man breakaway that took a six-minute time gap to the foot of the final ascent – became the youngest stage winner up the Alpe d'Huez in Le Tour history, breaking the record held by Lucho Herrera since 1984.

Yet Pidcock's tale was not the only incredible story of a quite sensational stage, with four-time champion Chris Froome claiming third, having planted himself in the breakaway group. While the yellow jersey is far out of the 37-year-old's reach, his performance echoed the form he was able to show in the years prior to his serious crash in 2019.

Behind the lead group, the fascinating general classification tussle between new leader Vingegaard and two-time defending champion Pogacar unfolded, hinting at the drama that is sure to come over the coming stages.

Pogacar twice attacked late on, yet Jumbo-Visma's Vingegaard kept pace.

The GC rivals pushed on for a sprint finish, with Pogacar nosing ahead to claim fifth place, though he was unable to damage Vingegaard, while Pidcock's INEOS Grenadier's team-mate Geraint Thomas, who conquered the mountain while wearing yellow in 2018, put himself into the top three in the overall standings.

But the day belonged to Pidcock, who after ploughing on to victory through thousands of vociferous spectators, said: "That was unbelievable, one of the craziest experiences ever. I can hardly hear anything, I've probably got hearing damage!

"That was ridiculous, at many points I thought I was going to get taken out."

Team GB's golden boy a speed demon

Pidcock is a star on the mountain bike, and those technical skills came in handy on the descent of the Col du Galibie, which preceded the climb up Alpe d'Huez. He clocked a top speed of 100km/h on the way down, while he averaged 19.7km/h on his way up to the summit finish.

"That is a record, I've never been over 100k before. It helps when there's a race to go for, doesn't it?" he said. 

"I'm lucky that I can descend or I wouldn't have won today. I don't think there was any way of me getting away at the start of the stage but I knew if the break was close enough at the top, I could go across on the descent because it was pretty twisty. I'm lucky Froomey was in front, we worked well together."

Froome, who won his first Tour de France when Pidcock was just 13, said: "He was flying down the descents today. His bike handling probably came in handy, there were a few times where I held back a bit because I was definitely at the limit."


1. Tom Pidcock (INEOS Grenadiers) 4:55:24
2. Louis Meintjes (Intermarche–Wanty–Gobert Materiaux) +0:48
3. Chris Froome (Israel–Premier Tech) +2:06
4. Neilson Powless (EF Education–EasyPost) +2:29
5. Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates) +3:23


General Classification

1. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 46:28:46
2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates) +2:22
3. Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers) +2:26

Points Classification

1. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) 313
2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates) 159
3. Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) 155

King of the Mountains

1. Simon Geschke (Cofidis) 43
2. Louis Meintjes (Intermarche–Wanty–Gobert Materiaux) 39
3. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 36

An exciting finish to Stage 10 of the Tour de France saw Magnus Cort finish ahead of Nick Schultz by a matter of inches in Megeve.

With under three kilometres left, Schultz and Matteo Jorgenson caught up with Luis Leon Sanchez at the front, only for the chasing pack, including Cort, to also reach them in the closing stages.

After a few attempted to break away, it was Schultz and Cort who ultimately did so, with the victor uncertain as they both crossed the line.

Replays showed that Cort narrowly took it, and the Dane said following the race after his second Tour de France victory that it was the lure of another stage win on the tour that motivated him to push harder.

"Unbelievable," the EF Education-EasyPost rider said. "I was on the limit for so long on this climb, and luckily I had [Alberto] Bettiol up front and he was really strong, which meant I could sit on, and save some energy.

"I was losing the group a couple of times in the last few kilometres. Suddenly it was all back together and I was able to take it in the sprint.

"[The win] was huge. For me, my type of rider, it can't be any bigger than this... In my first tour I won a stage and I've been a few times without. It's unbelievable to do it again.

"When we entered the runway and I could see things coming back together, I could see the podium and the logo of the Tour de France, I thought 'I have to take this, no matter the price.'"

The 148.5-kilometre stage was always likely to be dominated by a breakaway of some sort, with 25 riders doing so, including Lennard Kamna who moved into the virtual yellow jersey for a brief period.

While Tadej Pogacar lost time in the overall classification, he remained ahead atop the GC by 11 seconds, having understandably ridden a conservative race after losing UAE-Emirates Team member George Bennett for the rest of the tour due to COVID-19.

Protest almost halts Tour de France in its tracks  

The race was briefly halted with 36km still to go as protestors demonstrated in the middle of the road. The leader at the time, Bettiol, was given a new start when it resumed, with the 24 chasers and then the peloton following.

It was not the first confusing moment of the day, with the race's start also delayed due to Cofidis rider Benjamin Thomas having an issue with his shoes.


1. Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost) 3:18:50
2. Nick Schultz (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) same time
3. Luis Leon Sanchez (Bahrain Victorious) +0:07
4. Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar) +0:08
5. Dylan van Baarle (Ineos Grenadiers) +0:10


General Classification

1. Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates) 37:11:28
2. Lennard Kamna (BORA-Hansgrohe) +0:11
3. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) +0:39

Points Classification

1. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) 284
2. Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) 149
3. Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates) 139

King of the Mountains

1. Simon Geschke (Cofidis) 19
2. Bob Jungels (AG2R Citroen) 18
3. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) 14

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