Jumbo Visma’s Christophe Laporte, a master of the spring classics, used his tactical nous to win a classics-style 19th stage of the 2022 Tour de France in Cahors. Laporte came into town with the peloton chasing three escapees just seconds up the road, sensing a bunch sprint. But the finish contained a slight uphill and two of the escapees, Trek’s Jasper Stuyven and Bahrain’s Fred Wright, were powering up the incline in a way that might just hold off the sprinters. Laporte parked on Stuyven’s wheel briefly after bridging the small gap inside the final 800 meters, then summoned his sprint with some 300 meters to go, coming by the tiring escapees and putting a sizable distance between himself and the peloton, making it home alone for the win.
While seeing a Jumbo Visma rider raise his arms in triumph is nothing new anymore, with the team about to capture almost all of the Tour’s spoils come Sunday in Paris, this was nonetheless a watershed moment. Laporte is French, and no French rider had won a single stage in their national sporting event, to this point. With just a time trial and a prestigious bunch sprint in Paris remaining, the chances of avoiding this ignominious performance for the first time since 1999 and second time in the race’s history were dwindling. So Laporte’s victorious gallop was maybe an unnecessary triumph for his team, but a much-needed one for his home country.
There were small gaps all over the road,
including five seconds from second-placed defending Tour champ Tadej Pogačar to winner-in-waiting Jonas Vingegaard, but no changes to the classifications. [Update] They have now canceled the 5” gap among the top groups.
- Christophe Laporte Jumbo-Visma, 03:52:04
- Jasper Philipsen Alpecin-Deceuninck, + 01
- Alberto Dainese Team DSM, + 01
- Florian Sénéchal Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team, + 01
- Tadej Pogacar UAE Team Emirates, + 01
- Amaury Capiot Team Arkéa-Samsic, + 01
- Dylan Groenewegen Team BikeExchange-Jayco, + 01
- Hugo Hofstetter Team Arkéa-Samsic, + 01
- Luka Mezgec Team BikeExchange-Jayco, + 01
- Caleb Ewan Lotto Soudal, s.t.
Castelnau Magnoac - Cahors 188.3 km
One for the sprinters surely? Some mumbling of crosswinds and other shenanigans but I’ll believe it when I see it.
Expected finish: 17:15 - 17:40 CEST
Rocamadour of the Day : Caleb Ewan
Something has to go right for Lotto at some point, right? Right?