TOUR DE FRANCE 2023 | STAGE 19 | MOIRANS-EN-MONTAGNE > POLIGNY
Matej Mohoric claimed stage 19 like in Libourne 2021 to make it three for himself in his career as a Tour de France rider and three for his Bahrain Victorious team this year. A duel made a Slovenian beat a Dane since Kasper Asgreen missed out on the two-in-row by a very small margin. On GC, Denmarks kept the lead over Slovenia and Jonas Vingegaard received the 25th Maillot Jaune of his career in Poligny.
ALAPHILIPPE AND 8 OTHER RIDERS IN THE LEAD
The start of stage 19 was given to 151 riders at 13.33. Victor Campenaerts (Lotto-Dstny) went on the attack for the second consecutive day but he was reeled in after 10km of racing. Mad Pedersen (Lidl-Trek) and Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) managed to get a gap for themselves at km 18. The Kazakh national champion took 1 KOM point atop côte du bois de Lionge (km 23) while many people were reacting strongly at the head of the peloton. The leading duo was reeled in at km 37 by the first part of the peloton that included Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogacar but not Adam Yates. Many more skirmishes took place after the regrouping. It led to the formation of a 9-man front group at km 57: Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal-Quick Step), Warren Barguil (Arkea-Samsic), Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious), Nils Politt (Bora-Hansgrohe), Pedersen (Lidl-Trek), Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty), Campenaerts (Lotto-Dstny), Tiesj Benoot (Jumbo-Visma) and Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates).
CAMPENAERTS AND CLARKE AHEAD AND 34 CHASERS
Their advantage was 1’15’’ at km 62 but teams Israel-Premier Tech, Uno-X and EF Education-EasyPost were unhappy to have missed the breakaway so they chased hard. The front runners were only one minute ahead when Politt broke his chain and couldn’t resume racing on a new bike before the peloton overtook him with 90km remaining. 65km before the end, the eight leaders were joined by a group of more than thirty riders including Jasper Philipsen and Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) and Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma). Simon Clarke (Israel-Premier Tech) and Campenaerts rode away right after the regrouping. Intermarché-Circus-Wanty seized the reins of the peloton to bring everyone together in favour of Biniam Girmay but they eventually surrendered and the gap went up. The 34 riders behind the leading duo were: Benoot, Laporte (Jumbo-Visma), Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates), Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers), Lars van den Berg (Groupama-FDJ), Alberto Bettiol, Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost), Alaphilippe, Kasper Asgreen (Soudal-Quick Step), Haig, Matej Mohoric, Fred Wright (Bahrain Victorious), Marco Haller, Jordi Meeus (Bora-Hansgrohe), Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek), Ben O’Connor, Oliver Naesen (AG2R-Citroën), Van der Poel, Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Zimmermann (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty), Ion Izagirre (Cofidis), Hugo Houle, Krists Neilands, Corbin Strong (Israel-Premier Tech), Luke Durbridge, Dylan Groenewegen, Luka Mezgec (Jayco-AlUla), Barguil (Arkea-Samsic), Jonas Abrahamsen, Anton Charmig, Rasmus Tiller, Soren Waerenskjold (Uno-X), Daniel Oss and Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies).
PHOTO-FINISH TO SHOW MOHORIC WINS
Clarke gave up because of cramping. Asgreen, O’Connor and Mohoric overtook Campenaerts in the ascent of côte d’Ivory with 30km to go. Lots of counter-attacks were launched behind them in the last 25 kilometres. 10km before the end, they had 20’’ lead over nine chasers. The leading trio remained composed during the 8-km long straight line. O’Connor launched the sprint 500 metres before the line. He was overhauled by Asgreen who looked like going for his second stage win in a row but Mohoric pipped him on the line to claim his third Tour de France stage victory after he imposed himself at Le Creusot and Libourne in 2021. It’s also the third stage win for his Bahrain Victorious team this year following the successes of Pello Bilbao and Wout Poels. It makes it 16 stage wins for Slovenian riders since Primoz Roglic took the first one at Serre-Chevalier in 2017.
MATEJ MOHORIC: “AN EMOTIONAL WIN BECAUSE OF WHAT WE’VE BEEN THROUGH”
“This victory means a lot because it’s hard and cruel to be a pro cyclist. You suffer a lot in preparation to get ready, then you realize that everyone is so strong that it’s hard to follow the wheels. The other day, at col de la Loze, I was empty. You see how staffers have to wake up every morning 6AM to work until the night. Sometimes you struggle so much that you think you don’t belong here. Yet you have to realize everyone is struggling. Today I had to follow Kasper [Asgreen]. For Gino [Mäder], for everything. I needed to take his wheel and beat him on the line. When he attacked, I chased him and tried to follow him all the way to the top of the climb. I contributed so we could stay away. When Ben [O’Connor] attacked, I knew he was going to do it because it was the only chance he had. I knew Kasper would react, then I pipped him on the line.”
“I know I’m strong enough to win a stage in the Tour de France, because I’ve done it already. It’s emotional for me and for the team because of the hard times we have gone through.”
JONAS VINGEGAARD: “I AM KIND OF A WARRIOR ON THE BIKE”
“It has been a very difficult start. We had to make sure that no GC guy made the break. Once the break went, we just tried to save some energy. I would describe myself as a big family person, and also a bit shy. As an athlete, I am an aggressive rider who likes to win – like everyone in cycling. I am kind of a warrior on the bike.”
JASPER PHILIPSEN: “I HOPE I DIDN’T GO TOO DEEP TODAY”
“It was all out for the start. We went very hard all day and in the end I was just 4th. It’s disappointing. In the final kilometres, we were a strong group of chasers and we were pulling hard, yet we couldn’t catch the front three. They were super strong. I’d like to win on the Champs-Elysées like last year but first we have to go over tomorrow’s stage. It will be hard. I hope to have some energy left in my legs. I hope I didn’t go too deep today, but the feeling has been very good so far.”
VICTOR CAMPENAERTS: “I WAS EUPHORIC”
“It was a suitable stage for the break. I tried but at the end it’s not a Belgian victory in Belgium’s national day. My energy today? Maybe I was euphoric because of the near-victory we had yesterday. I made the break with an elite group of riders. We put lot of energy, it wasn’t good that so many riders join from behind. I tried to anticipate with my former teammate Simon Clarke. We built an advantage, but it was too small to survive the climb along with these three guys. When they brought me back, my legs exploded.”
GIULIO CICCONE: “IT CAN BE THE BEST OR THE WORST DAY IN MY LIFE TOMORROW”
“The first 100km were really fast, everyone was suffering. Luckily the last part was easy, so I tried to recover. Tomorrow is the Day D. It’ll be a fight from the start. It can be one of the greatest days of my life, but it can also be the worst. We have a lot of climbs. It will be hard. We start in the valley and I need to go on the climbs. The plan is clear for everyone, already in the first climb. I need to take as many points as possible.”
TADEJ POGACAR: “I WANT TO FIGHT FOR THE STAGE WIN TOMORROW”
“Matej [Mohoric] was crying when I hugged him. I’m also quite emotional for him. It’s incredible that he won today in such fashion. He really deserves this victory. It’s a difficult Tour for everybody. Everybody tries his best, and sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. It’s going to be a tough mountain day tomorrow. I hope my legs, body and mind have recovered. It’s been a hard couple of days, let’s see how I feel tomorrow. Today I was better than yesterday. We have a strong team and we will use it to fight for the stage win.”