Jonas Vingegaard blows up the Tour de France. Jai Hindley emerges as a contender

Road 05/07/23 17:44 Migue A.

Spectacular 5th stage of the Tour de France 2023, first mountain stage in the Pyrenees, marked by a large breakaway in which a man of the level of Jai Hindley, a Giro d'Italia winner who now becomes a very serious contender for the victory of the Tour de France, with the permission of a huge Jonas Vingegaard who, with a violent attack in Marie Blanque disarmed Tadej Pogacar.

Jai Hindey wears the yellow jersey, Jonas Vingegaard shows strength

The first encounter with the high mountains in the Tour de France 2023 did not disappoint and that leaves us as the only certainty the high level of Jonas Vingegaard who, right now is consolidated as the top favorite to reedit the victory achieved last year. Tadej Pogacar sows doubt and the appearance of an ambitious Jai Hindley, expected although few of us believed that it would really happen, is presented as a destabilizing element of the race.

The first Pyrenean stage, also the first contact with the high mountains of this Tour de France with a stage that started in Pau, one of the cities that has hosted more times starts and finishes in the French round and Laruns.
162 kilometers starting with a tremendously broken and twisty approach terrain and the almost chained ascent of the Soudet, one of the hardest faces of the terrible St. Martin's Stone; Col d'Ichère one of those hidden traps of the Pyrenees and that more than one will bring pain in the legs and, for dessert, the mythical Marie Blanque with its 4 terrifying kilometers maintained above 10%.

After the rest that the participants took yesterday, a battle was expected from the start and the start of the day did not disappoint with the usual succession of attacks. However, it did not take long, just over a dozen kilometers, to form a large group of about 25 riders that began to open a small gap.

When the directors analyzed the composition of that group, some alarms began to go off. First of all because of the presence of three leading riders from Jumbo-Visma: Wout van Aert, Laporte and Tiejs Benoot but, above all, because a possible overall contender, a Giro d'Italia winner like Jai Hindley, had slipped in with two teammates. Also other quality riders like Juanpe López and Giulio Ciccone for Lidl-Trek, Marc Soler, Omar Fraile or Rigoberto Urán and Esteban Chaves as representatives of EF Education-EasyPost without forgetting Julian Alaphilippe who seems to be back to who he was.

A worrying cut that UAE Team Emirates initially tried to close, but after failing to reduce the gap, they opted not to burn the team and let them do it, but always keeping the lead of the peloton and maintaining a high pace that made Fabio Jakobsen suffer on each small climb, visibly in pain after the very hard crash at the end of yesterday's stage.

As it usually happens when the breakaways are made up of such large groups, the breakaways soon began, in this case by the lesser climbers. On the approach to the intermediate sprint of Lanne Coquard, Pedersen, Campenaerts and Van Aert himself stood out, with the bulk of the points falling on the side of the Frenchman who, having achieved his goal today, dropped back to the discipline of the big peloton.

Meanwhile, the remaining three made their way with about a minute over the rest of the breakaway until they reached the first ramps of the Soudet, where Mads Pedersen was the one who gave up. Thus they were making their way maintaining a pulse with their pursuers, led by Juanpe Lopez who worked hard to bring Giulio Ciccone. A work that would bear fruit with a couple of kilometers to go to the top, a moment that coincided with the beginning of the attacks in the group to select the breakaway. A strong pace that had the effect that the gap to the peloton shot up to 4 minutes with just 74 kilometers to the end of the stage.

At the foot of the Col d'Ichère, the gap is maintained while in the breakaway, several skirmishes during the transition terrain leave Krist Neilands in the lead with just over a dozen seconds over Van Aert and Alaphilippe in a clear move to anticipate and be able to make the port with a point less compared to the rest of the escapees among which there are real climbers who already put them in trouble at the top of Soudet.

In fact, although on paper the Col d'Ichère looks like a mere transition climb with its 4.2 km at 7% average gradient, the reality is that the irregularity in the distribution of the gradient in the passes of this whole area does not reflect that just past the intermediate part it has a terrible kilometer over 10%. In any case, it is still a transition pass as a mere foretaste of the very hard Marie Blanque, as the three leading riders managed to crown with a score of seconds over the rest of the breakaway.

However, at the start of the Marie Blanque they were caught and the already strong pace of their companions proved too demanding, especially considering the excellent climbers. Men like Omar Fraile would also give way, after working for Daniel Felipe Martinez's options. Meanwhile, on the approach to the Moulin de Barescou, where the 4 terrifying kilometers of the Marie Blanque start, it was the AG2R-Citroën in the breakaway, Gall and Berthet who were pushing the pace while Hindley kept calm until the hard section where, at a steady pace, he went to the front in the company of Felix Gall.

After dropping Van Aert recovered until he was caught by the peloton, at which point a change occurred after the Jumbo-Visma took the lead, pulled by the Belgian after the whole stage UAE Team Emirates had been setting the pace. The change was noticeable and riders began to drop off and the group was decimated. Just at the same time Hindley put one more point and made Felix Gall give in, going not only for the stage victory but also to postulate himself as a contender for the victory in the Tour.

Final selection in the group of favorites with Sepp Kuss destroying the pack and marching only with Vingegaard and Pogacar on the wheel while a willing Carlos Rodriguez did not end up giving in and followed in their wake from a few dozen meters behind, suffering in the final stretch of this monster that is the Marie Blanque. A work of Sepp Kuss that would have its effect a little less than 1 kilometer to crown with the very strong attack of Jonas Vingegaard to which, strangely Pogacar did not respond in the first instance, leaving to do but without giving the feeling of being toasted.

Jonas Vingegaard's brutal pace crowned just over a minute behind Jai Hindley and a Tadej Pogacar who in the final part of the race was deflated to lose 36 seconds at the top of Marie Blanque. At the bottom of the pass, the figure was already close to a minute with only a 6-kilometer stretch on a slight ascent towards Laruns. Pogacar decided to stop and let himself be caught by the group with leader Adam Yates, to be cool-headed and look for collaboration to minimize the loss of seconds at the finish.

Finally, Jai Hindley managed to resist the push, crossing the finish line victorious with 32 seconds of advantage over a small group led by Giulio Ciccone in which Jonas Vingegaard was left without a bonus after not receiving a single relay from the Italian, Felix Gall or, of course, Emanuel Buchmann, Hindley's teammate.

1 minute and 6 seconds later crossed the finish line the group formed by Adam Yates, Tadej Pogacar and a great Carlos Rodriguez beginning to show the quality he possesses. Worse result for Mikel Landa, who lost about 2 minutes and a half to the Danish Jumbo-Visma rider. In any case, these are not differences that allow us to anticipate anything, especially when tomorrow awaits the mythical Tourmalet and the very hard effort of today will surely take its toll.

Stage 5 Classification

  1. Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) 3h57’07’’
  2. Giulio Ciccone (Lidl-Trek) +32’’
  3. Felix Gall (AG2R-Citroën) +32’’
  4. Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) +32’’
  5. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) +32’’
  6. Mattias Skjelmose (Lidl-Trek) +01’38’’
  7. Daniel Felipe Martínez (INEOS Grenadiers) +01’38’’
  8. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +01’38’’
  9. David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) +01’38’’
  10. Carlos Rodríguez (INEOS Grenadiers) +01’38’’

Overall Classification

  1. Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) 22h15’12’’
  2. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) +47’’
  3. Giulio Ciccone (Lidl-Trek) +01’03’’
  4. Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) +01’11’’
  5. Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) +01’34’’
  6. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +01’40’’
  7. Simon Yates (Jayco AlUla) +01’40’’
  8. Mattias Skjelmose (Lidl-Trek) +01’56’’
  9. Carlos Rodríguez (INEOS Grenadiers) +01’56’’
  10. David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) +01’56’’



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Jonas Vingegaard dinamita el Tour de Francia. Jai Hindley se postula como aspirante