Race report

3rd for Romain Bardet and Team DSM after incredible and attacking Tour de France stage

Tour de France

Touted as one of the toughest stages of the race; four famous ascents and roughly 4000 metres of elevation gain awaited the peloton this afternoon as they rolled out of Albertville this afternoon. With a flatter start, the speeds were high as lots of teams and riders looked to make the day’s breakaway. Eventually after a plethora of attacks, a large group of 20 riders formed out front and quickly built up their lead.

With all Team DSM riders in the peloton focus remained on looking after finisher Romain Bardet, keeping him safe and conserving as much energy as possible for what was to come. With the picturesque Lacets de Montvernier covered, next up was the Col de Télégraphe where a strong pace was set in the GC group and it became a race of attrition. Approaching the top of the climb, the yellow jersey group was down to around 30 riders with Bardet, Chris Hamilton and Andreas Leknessund still well up there for the team.

Over the top of the climb a dangerous move went clear including GC contenders Pogacar, Roglic, Vingegaard and Thomas. Getting a gap of almost one minute, Hamilton set a strong pace in the chasing group on the next ascent of the Col du Galibier and all-but closed the gap before other teams pitched in to help and contact was made. With the steep ramps continuing and the ascent unrelenting, a hard tempo split the group with Bardet riding brilliantly to make the initial move of eight, which further thinned down as the kilometres ticked by. Digging deep, Bardet fought back after the yellow jersey made a move and even went on the attack himself; before ultimately cresting the climb just behind the “leading” duo of Pogacar and Vingegaard.

On the high speed descent it was tough to create a gap and several riders returned as the race charged towards the foot of the Col du Granon, with lone leader Barguil maintaining a three minute and 45 second advantage at ten kilometres to go. With the kilometres counting down, the yellow jersey group thinned in size as Quintana launched a counter attack; with Bardet still in the now group of six. Approaching five kilometres to go Bardet launched a stinging attack, going clear of the yellow jersey and in pursuit of Quintana who had now caught Barguil. Riding strongly, Bardet quickly built up a gap before Vingegaard launched his move behind and bridged across. Bardet rode at his own speed as Vingegaard increased the tempo once more; with riders in ones in twos all over the road.

Giving his all to the finish, Bardet crested the Col du Granon to take a brilliant and hard-fought third place for Team DSM – on what was a stage for the ages.

“It was a really hard day and as expected it was the first big GC day,” explained Bardet after the finish. “We didn’t expect it would go that hard on the Col de Télégraphe, but I was still with Chris and he did a super good job bringing me back to the front. It was then all about the legs and I’m quite happy with the day. Now it’s onto tomorrow because it will be another big battle.” 

Team DSM coach Matt Winston added: “It was a good stage today for us. We looked to put a guy in the break to support Romain, going all-in for the stage result, but we also knew today would shape the GC a little bit. Romain had a super stage and did a really good job on the last mountain but also the ones before that. He rode at a good pace and his own tempo and came through the stage in a really nice way. We expect tomorrow will be another hard day again.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 VINGEGAARD Jonas Jumbo-Visma 4:18:02 120
2 QUINTANA Nairo Team Arkéa Samsic 0:59 50
3 BARDET Romain Team DSM 1:10 25
35 HAMILTON Chris Team DSM 26:12 -
50 TUSVELD Martijn Team DSM 27:16 -
72 LEKNESSUND Andreas Team DSM 29:42 -
115 DAINESE Alberto Team DSM 34:09 -
122 EEKHOFF Nils Team DSM 35:19 -
124 DEGENKOLB John Team DSM 35:48 -