Race report

Romain Bardet claims hard-fought 11th place up Alpe d’Huez on Bastille Day

Tour de France

With yesterday’s explosive opening day in the Alps, today’s second foray into the mountain range would see the riders take on 4500 metres of climbing and a finish up the famous Alpe d’Huez ascent which was proceeded by the ascents of the Col du Galibier and Col de la Croix de Fer.

It was an active start to the stage with several attacks before the break of the day formed out front with all Team DSM riders in the bunch. A strong pace was set on the Galibier and the gap to the break was kept at around two minutes, with Froome and eventual stage winner Pidcock attacking near the top and bridging to those ahead on the descent.

Approaching the Col de la Croix the team rode well together, with everyone in support of yesterday’s third place finisher Romain Bardet. As the kilometres ticked by the gap to the break held steady, but the tempo had increased out front and in the peloton; reducing the numbers in the bunch. Nonetheless, as the race charged towards the many hairpins of Alpe d’Huez, Bardet was flanked by Chris Hamilton, Andreas Leknessund and Martijn Tusveld. As the peloton snaked its way up the climb, the team worked well as a unit before the pace was dramatically increased and the group quickly thinned down.

Following his strong climbing performance yesterday, Bardet made the elite yellow jersey group of seven but with the pace ramping up even further; he had to let go of the wheels at five kilometres to the line. Keeping a cool head and well supported by the coaches in the car behind, Bardet dug deep and rode at his own tempo all the way to the finish – eventually crossing the line in 11th place, just 19 seconds behind the yellow jersey group. As a result, he now sits in fourth place on GC.

Speaking after the stage Team DSM coach Matt Winston said: “The guys did a super job today on the stage up Alpe d’Huez. The team rode really well together and really protected Romain as we came onto the final climb, where he did a really good climb. He climbed faster than he did the last time he did it in 2018. Overall, I don’t think we can ask for much more than that and we go forward in the coming days with good spirit. We look to keep working with Romain but also we keep the focus on the day results.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 PIDCOCK Thomas INEOS Grenadiers 4:55:24 120
2 MEINTJES Louis Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux 0:48 50
3 FROOME Chris Israel - Premier Tech 2:06 25
11 BARDET Romain Team DSM 3:42 -
40 HAMILTON Chris Team DSM 15:35 -
42 TUSVELD Martijn Team DSM 16:07 -
48 LEKNESSUND Andreas Team DSM 19:06 -
69 EEKHOFF Nils Team DSM 26:39 -
88 DEGENKOLB John Team DSM 28:58 -
98 DAINESE Alberto Team DSM ,, -