Vingegaard retains yellow jersey on transition stage Tour de France
While Team Jumbo-Visma did not succeed to make an impact in the battle for the day's victory in the tenth stage of the Tour de France, Jonas Vingegaard maintained his lead in the general classification. The black-and-yellow squad tried to be part of the early breakaway with Wout van Aert but was unable to do so in the tricky opening phase.
Despite the sweltering heat, there was a lot of attacking and climbing right after the start. "The early stages were tough”, Van Aert admitted. "It was a tough day. The course had very few flat kilometres; it was up and down until the finish. I didn't have the best legs. That's why I wasn't in the breakaway of the day. After that plan failed, I tried to help the team. We didn't get into trouble today. That's the most important thing.”
Heading into the final climb of the day, Van Aert suddenly reappeared at the front with Mathieu van der Poel. At some point, the two were several kilometres ahead of the peloton. Van Aert: "I just followed Mathieu. I think he was in front of one of his teammates. On a descent he kept up the pace, and I followed him. In no time we had a gap. It was an ideal situation for me. I could take it easy on the last climb and still do something for the team. My condition is good, but the legs were just a bit less than I would have liked today. It's a shame that I wasn't in the early breakaway, but that's how it is”, the Team Jumbo-Visma rider said.
Vingegaard rode well all day, surrounded by his teammates. "We knew beforehand that this stage would be good for the escapees. There was a lot of enthusiasm at the start, which made for a good pace”, Vingegaard said. The Dane saw Tadej Pogacar get away but reacted in time. "I was able to follow him easily. Later in the stage, we slowed down a bit, and there was even help from other teams, but the heat didn't make it easy today. Luckily I can cope well with these conditions. I wouldn’t mind if these tropical temperatures lasted for a while. The team helped me throughout the stage today, so we wasted as little energy as possible.”
"This day was maybe more demanding than we thought“, sports director Grischa Niermann said of the stage won by Pello Bilbao. "We would have liked to be in the breakaway with Wout, but it didn't work out, partly because of the chaos at the start. Fortunately, Jonas was alert when some of the GC riders started to move on the opening phase. We were prepared for a situation like that. If you have to try to close the gap as a team, you waste a lot of energy. Luckily that was not the case today. We were in control all day—a big compliment to all the guys. Today’s conclusion is that we have again delivered a strong team performance.”