Racing recap

Infernal racing and searing heat | Tour de France Week 2 racing recap

Tour de France

The fierce battle at the Tour de France from the opening week continued as the race entered the second week of competition; with searingly hot action to match the temperatures. The team were active on all fronts again starting immediately on stage 10 where Andreas Leknessund made the breakaway and rode to a hard-fought eighth place. A mountain double-header saw Romain Bardet take a brilliant third place on stage 11 which was followed up by a fighting and measured effort on Alpe d’Huez. Stages 13 and 14 saw the break take the day honours while on the steep climb to Mende there was some gaps amongst the peloton, with Romain once again giving his everything to the finish. Yesterday’s stage saw another big fight between the attackers and peloton, with a reduced bunch sprint finishing deciding the day after the team went all-in to set up Alberto Dainese who had some bad luck of the finale.

Stage 10: Morzine – Megève (148 kilometres)

The peloton came out of the proverbial starting blocks flying on stage 10 after the rest day, and it took a long time for the breakaway to form. Eventually the elastic snapped and Andreas made it into a large group of around 20 riders and after working well together, they extended their advantage enough to fight it out for the stage. Andreas measured his effort well, and bridged to a dangerous counter attack on the final climb which split the group. Digging deep all the way to the line, Andreas got the most out of his legs for a strong eighth place finish.

Speaking after the finish Andreas said: “It was a hard start and took quite a long time for the break to go away, but as a team we did our best. Me and Martijn were active following attacks and in the end I was the guy in the move. From there it was about saving as much energy as possible for the last climb. I think I did my best and tried to play it smart. In the end I think I got the most out of my legs today. It’s a special feeling to be racing for the win in a Tour de France stage and it’s a nice experience. I’m looking forward to the days to come.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 CORT Magnus EF Education-EasyPost 3:18:50 120
2 SCHULTZ Nick Team BikeExchange - Jayco ,, 50
3 SÁNCHEZ Luis León Bahrain - Victorious 0:07 25
8 LEKNESSUND Andreas Team DSM 0:20 -
26 BARDET Romain Team DSM 8:54 -
57 TUSVELD Martijn Team DSM 9:40 -
60 HAMILTON Chris Team DSM 9:46 -
97 DAINESE Alberto Team DSM 17:22 -
100 EEKHOFF Nils Team DSM 17:41 -
112 DEGENKOLB John Team DSM 23:07 -

Stage 11: Albertville to Col du Granon (151 kilometres)

The first of two big days in the Alps saw the team fully rally around Romain, looking after him throughout the stage over several famous climbs. Chris Hamilton helped to bring back the dangerous yellow jersey group on the Galibier, before Romain showed brilliant climbing legs; cresting the ascent as one of the best climbers from the yellow jersey group. Things regrouped approaching the summit finish on Col du Granon; setting up an explosive finale. Romain danced away from several strong climbers to claim a brilliant third place, pushing all the way to the line.

“It was a really hard day and as expected it was the first big GC day,” explained Romain 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.” 

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 -

Stage 12: Briançon to L’Alpe d’Huez (165 kilometres) 

An iconic final climb to Alpe d’Huez saw the breakaway fight for stage honours while once again the team supported Romain really well throughout the day; with Chris, Andreas and Martijn Tusveld still there on the lower slopes of the Alpe. With the pace ramping up the group thinned down dramatically and Romain rode at his own pace to not go into the red; riding a mature and measured effort all the way to the line – ultimately climbing the ascent faster than he did back in 2018.

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 ,, -

Stage 13: Bourg d’Oisans to Saint-Etienne (192 kilometres) 

A big fight for the breakaway once again took place amongst the peloton, with a strong six-rider move going clear. Things hung in the balance for a while but eventually the sprint teams called off the chase and the break fought it out for the win, with Alberto leading the team home in the bunch behind.

Team DSM coach Matt Winston: “We tried to get into the breakaway today but the group we were in was bought back. We then focussed on bringing Romain safely to the finish, which the team did. Alberto narrowly missed out on a top 10, finishing 11th but tomorrow is another chance”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 PEDERSEN Mads Trek - Segafredo 4:13:03 120
2 WRIGHT Fred Bahrain - Victorious ,, 50
3 HOULE Hugo Israel - Premier Tech ,, 25
11 DAINESE Alberto Team DSM 5:45 -
30 BARDET Romain Team DSM ,, -
72 DEGENKOLB John Team DSM 6:07 -
79 HAMILTON Chris Team DSM 6:11 -
85 LEKNESSUND Andreas Team DSM 6:15 -
128 TUSVELD Martijn Team DSM 13:13 -
130 EEKHOFF Nils Team DSM ,, -

Stage 14: Saint-Etienne to Mende (157 kilometres) 

Saturday’s action once again saw the breakaway fight for the win, while behind in the peloton some explosive action took place on the final climb. Well supported by the team onto the ascent, Romain once again rode at his own tempo under the searing July sun, following in a handful of seconds or so behind the other riders at the top of the order.

“It was pretty hot going up the last climb so I just paced my to the top,” explained Romain after the stage. “We lost a bit of time, but there’s a long way to go still so it’s not a big deal and there’s still lots of opportunities to come.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 MATTHEWS Michael Team BikeExchange - Jayco 4:30:53 120
2 BETTIOL Alberto EF Education-EasyPost 0:15 50
3 PINOT Thibaut Groupama - FDJ 0:34 25
30 BARDET Romain Team DSM 13:00 -
45 LEKNESSUND Andreas Team DSM 17:58 -
54 TUSVELD Martijn Team DSM 20:34 -
60 HAMILTON Chris Team DSM 21:50 -
110 DEGENKOLB John Team DSM 24:19 -
111 EEKHOFF Nils Team DSM ,, -
126 DAINESE Alberto Team DSM 25:08 -

Stage 15: Rodez to Carcassonne (202 kilometres) 

Yesterday’s action once again could have gone to the break but after a fast opening few kilometres only a three rider move went up the road and it was clear the sprint teams wanted to fight it out. On the final categorised climb of the day the team worked well together with John Degenkolb, Nils Eekhoff and Martijn positioning the team, with the rest of the squad making it over in the reduced peloton. Andreas and Chris helped to set tempo at the front and make it difficult for those sprinters dropped to return. It was a hectic run-in and Romain and Alberto tried their best, but coming through a corner in the final kilometre Alberto got sandwiched and couldn’t compete fully for the sprint.

“It was a pretty hot day,” explained Alberto. “The start was easier than other days but the last climbs were pretty hard. Trek was pulling a lot and I could stay in the reduced bunch with Romain, Andreas and Chris. We put Andreas to ride and put some pressure on other sprinters and that was a super good job he did. Unluckily in the final it was a big fight to get to the front because every sprinter was almost alone. At around 600 metres to go I got boxed in and had to brake pretty hard, and then couldn’t really sprint. It was a bit unlucky but in the end it was also a super hard day and not easy to get a good position, but I’m proud of how the guys rode.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 PHILIPSEN Jasper Alpecin-Deceuninck 4:27:27 120
2 VAN AERT Wout Jumbo-Visma ,, 50
3 PEDERSEN Mads Trek - Segafredo ,, 25
25 DAINESE Alberto Team DSM ,, -
26 BARDET Romain Team DSM ,, -
91 HAMILTON Chris Team DSM 3:47 -
94 LEKNESSUND Andreas Team DSM ,, -
135 EEKHOFF Nils Team DSM 20:16 -
138 DEGENKOLB John Team DSM ,, -
144 TUSVELD Martijn Team DSM ,, -

Reflecting on the second week days of racing, we caught up with road captain John Degenkolb and Team DSM coach Matt Winston.

John said: “I think so far we’ve been able to keep the focus always on and I think that’s really important. Every day it was very stressful, but even in the stressful moments we could always rely on each other. Our team unit helped us to be stronger in the end. Yesterday could have been better but three of us were suffering from the heat and couldn’t be in the front split which was unfortunate. The other days I was really happy with how we could support the goals of the team. We’re all looking forward to the final week.”

Matt added: “I think we’ve had a good week overall. We took a third place in the Alps with Romain and sit fourth on GC as we head into the final week and the Pyrenees. I think we’re racing really well as a team and when we continue to race like this we will have a good last week at the Tour.”

We hope you’re all enjoying the rest day yourselves and staying safe in the heat. We’ll see you back on the road tomorrow!

Until next time,

Team DSM