With the Tour de France riding towards it’s conclusion on Sunday, it’s time to see where everyone stands coming into an exciting weekend of racing.
Early this week our headlines were dominated by the extreme heatwave which had us keeping well out of the sun in an effort to stay cool. While we were experimenting to see whether putting ice in front of the office fan actually had any effect, the Tour was arriving in south-west France where road temperature had reached 60 degrees Celsius. Thousands of litres of water had to be poured on particular sections of road to help keep the surface from melting.
Riders welcomed relief from the temperatures when arriving at the higher altitudes of the Pryenean foothills but it has been team Jumbo-Visma rider Vingegaard who has been proving he can withstand both the actual and figurative heat leading the tour in General Rankings. Young UAE Team Emirate rider Pogacar is currently second in the standings and Geraint Thomas in third 8 minutes behind the leader.
Podacar, while looking to steal the Yellow Jersey from Vingegaard, is all set to win his 3rd consecutive White Jersey, joining Jan UIlrich and Andy Schleck in the rare company of 3 white Jersey wins.
In yesterday’s Stage 18, both Vingegaard and Pogacar encountered difficulties on the nerve-wracking descent of the Col de Spandelles. The slippery surface nearly sent our yellow jersey wearer over the high side as the rear wheel slipped in a corner, but it was Pogacar who later lost control in a turn and had a low-speed crash. After Pogacar quickly dusted himself off, the two continued their combat on the Hautacam, Vingegaard slowing down to wait for Pogacar to reappear in a sporting moment of fair play. The stage ended with Vingegaard adding to his grip on the Yellow Jersey leading Pogacar and Van Aert in third.
We are excited to see what today and the weekend holds for this years exciting Tour de France!