Pello Bilbao wins stage 10 of the 2023 Tour de France

Road 11/07/23 18:06 Migue A.

A Spanish cyclist had not won a stage in the Tour de France since 2018, when Omar Fraile managed to win the tough climb to the Mende aerodrome. And it took another Biscayan to put an end to this five-year drought with a meritorious victory in a stage marked by the heat and the tremendous pace of a race that reached the finish line a quarter of an hour ahead of schedule.

Great victory of Pello Bilbao in the 10th stage of the Tour that puts him in the top 5 of the general classification

It seems incredible that we are just beginning the second week of the Tour de France 2023. With the level of intensity with which the race is being contested, many of us have the feeling that the Tour is already ending. But no, yesterday was the first rest day of the race and today, with renewed strength, the participants in the Tour de France have offered us another hard-fought day.

It was true that today's menu was extremely attractive for the best stage-hunters in the peloton. A 167-kilometer mid-mountain route through the Massif Central that included five scoring passes, the last of which was just over 20 kilometers from the finish. This caused the race to go completely wild, with continuous attacks and a fast pace that did not allow any attempt to succeed.

Even Tadej Pogacar himself ended up being involved in a break that also included Jonas Vingegaard, who had become his shadow. A race situation, without a second's rest, that went on for 90 kilometers until, little by little, several small breaks were formed with quality riders that were consolidating the gap with the peloton and ended up joining each other.

As always in these cases, the breakaway of the day was of the highest level, in days like these it is not cheap to get there. Specifically, 14 riders were in the lead: Warren Barguil, Pello Bilbao, Antonio Pedrero, Anthony Perez, Ben O'Connor, Mattias Skejlmose, Kasper Asgreen, Julian Alaphilippe, Esteban Chaves, Michal Kwiatwoski, Harold Tejada, Nick Schultz, Krists Neilands and Georg Zimmermann.

A breakaway that, as expected, was not let go too much from the peloton thanks to the quality of its members, with Pello Bilbao standing out in the general classification, in eleventh place, 7 minutes and 37 seconds behind Jonas Vingegaard.

In the final pass hostilities would begin between the escapees for the outcome of the stage with Nick Schultz who began to tighten strong from below, selecting the group and preparing the very hard attack of his teammate Krissts Neilands who quickly managed to collect 30 seconds advantage. The acceleration of the rest of the riders in pursuit provoked another new selection of the breakaway, leaving behind him only Chaves, Bilbao, Pedrero, O'Connor and Zimmermann.

It was hard to begin to reduce the gap but, once the descent was over, despite having the wind in their favor that made the kilometers go down at a frightening pace, little by little the 5 behind got closer and closer until they finished with Neilands' ride with 3 kilometers to go.

They didn't stop too long after catching him, as another small group with Alaphilippe, Skjelmose and Kwiatkowski was about 20 seconds behind them, bad guests in the event of a sprint for any of the riders in front. In any case, with 2 kilometers to go, O'Connor tried to surprise but was easily caught by a Pello Bilbao with incredible legs. After him, already under the flame rouge, it was Zimmermann who tried to do the same and again Pello came out with that ease of the great days causing this action to open a few tens of meters, enough to be able to have cold blood in the face of sprint.

And as it was already seen coming, with 200 m to go, with the rest of the group of 5 coming to the wheel again, Pello Bilbao launched the sprint with the confidence of knowing he was the fastest of those who were there. He did not fail in his calculations and won clearly, breaking the very long drought of victories that we mentioned at the beginning.

A tremendously emotional victory that, of course, was dedicated to the memory of Gino Mäder. As Pello Bilbao declared, he was thinking of nothing more than winning and being able to dedicate a victory to his late teammate. A dedication that adds to the initiative that the Basque cyclist announced at the beginning of the Tour de France with which he pledged to donate 1 euro for each rider who finished behind him in each stage in order to give continuity to the reforestation and environmental protection projects that Gino Mäder was carrying out.

But, in addition, this victory of Pello Bilbao brings a prize since the 2 minutes and 53 seconds cut from the peloton mean that he is up to 5th position in the general classification, just 12 seconds behind Carlos Rodríguez and with a relatively comfortable day tomorrow in which he can recover from today's hard effort and consider his chances for the general classification.

Clasificación Etapa 10

  1. Pello Bilbao (Bahrain-Victorious) 3h52’34’’
  2. Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) +00’’
  3. Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroën) +00’’
  4. Krists Neilands (Israel-PremierTech) +00’’
  5. Esteban Chaves (EF Education-EasyPost) +00’’
  6. Antonio Pedrero (Movistar Team) +03’’
  7. Mattiass Skjelmose (Lidl-Trek) +27’’
  8. Michal Kwiatkowski (INEOS-Grenadiers) +27’’
  9. Warren Barguil (Arkéa-Samsic) +30’’
  10. Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal-QuickStep) +32’’

General Classification

  1. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 38h37’46’’
  2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +17’’
  3. Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) +02’40’’
  4. Carlos Rodríguez (INEOS Grenadiers) +04’22’’
  5. Pello Bilbao (Bahrain-Victorious) +04’34’’
  6. Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) +04’39’’
  7. Simon Yates (Jayco AlUla) +04’44’’
  8. Thomas Pidcock (INEOS Grenadiers) +05’26’’
  9. David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) +06’01’’
  10. Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) +06’45’’



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Pello Bilbao rompe la sequía de victorias españolas en el Tour de Francia