Tour de France 2020: always higher, always less natural

Do not look for the Col de La Loze, the culmination of this Tour de France 2020, on the 2019 road map. This tarred section from a forest path did not exist a few months ago. “This road was not designed for cars, so there are incredible breaks in the slope, from 2 to 20% in the last switchbacks, praised before the departure the director of the Tour, back on the road after seven days of quarantine. It is not the highest pass in France, you can undoubtedly find a comparable landscape elsewhere, but the Loze is unique. “

→ DOSSIER. Tour de France 2020: all the information to follow this 107e editing

The runners, who ticked it off on the logbook like a scarecrow, probably do not share the boss’s joy. No more than many nature lovers, regretting this bleeding of black tar on the slope. Critics have flourished on social networks against the initiative of the Méribel resort, a municipality affected by this path, which saw it as a way to enrich its mountain leisure offer in summer. And also to join its longtime rival cousin, Courchevel, which did the same on the other side of the mountain, by paving a ski slope.

“Cycling yes, but not at any price”

The initiative of the cousins ​​of the Tarentaise leaves Florence Vincendet, director of Maurienne Tourisme, who has been playing the cycle tourism card in the valley of the same name for years. “Cycling yes, but not at any price, she says. With us we are not at the time of tracing roads in the mountains, we are rather trying to develop the existing paved roads or trails for mountain biking as well as possible. Our ethic is to use the bicycle as a lever to enhance the natural and cultural heritage at altitude, for example by installing recharging terminals for electric bikes at the foot of the pass, in the last villages, in no case in the middle of the mountains. “

→ READ. Tour de France 2020: Lennard Kämna solo winner at Villard-de-Lans

For decades, the organization of the Tour de France convinced local elected officials to host the race by dangling the frequent renovation of the roadway by departmental services. But the idea of ​​tracing artificial paths is new and stems from Christian Prudhomme’s desire to vary the pleasures.

Since he has headed the cycling department of the company that owns the race, Amaury Sport organization (ASO), Christian Prudhomme has put many new features on his hunting board. On little-known natural places such as the Lacets de Montvernier or the Grand Colombier. But also on artificial sites such as this alpine pass of Loze, or the extension of the Vosges Planche des Belles-Filles, which the riders will tackle on Saturday 19 during the final battle in the form of an individual time trial.

The indignant of the Planches des Belles-Filles

Already, the arrival for the first time in 2012 on this massif, the playground of local Thibaut Pinot, had made a lot of teeth cringe. Provoking the creation of a collective of opponents baptized the “indignant of the Board”. But the extension to the top, for the 2019 edition, of a section covered with a stony asphalt has revived criticism against an event deemed not very green, with its caravan distributing not really sustainable gifts and its hundreds of following cars. .

“In 2012, if we had been told that they would go to the top, we would not have believed it, but we are daring everything for the Tour de France, indignant Thierry Jeandet, mountain guide and kingpin of the Indignados. As for the recurring argument of cycling tourism, it does not hold water! We did not see the color of any economic impact. This must pass, in our rural and mountainous regions, through green energies. The Tour is the reverse of history. “

→ ROUTE. Tour de France 2020: the map of stages

This statement echoes the criticisms of environmental mayors of large cities, such as Lyon, Grenoble or Rennes, who will lay down their conditions before hosting the race. Not sure that attacking the mountain with bulldozers is the best way to attract their good graces.


The Loze pass, a tribute to Henri Desgrange

Each year, the Tour de France dedicates its highest stage in altitude to the creator of the Tour de France, Henri Desgrange. Which is also honored by a stele built at the top of Galibier, which dominates the history of the Tour from the top of its 2,642 m. If the Galibier is not on the route, which is the case this year, the highlight of the current edition replaces it. For 2020, this distinction therefore goes to the 2,304 m of the Col de la Loze. And the € 5,000 of the Henri Desgrange prize will be allocated to the winner of the day.



→ The results of the day: The complete classification of the 16e stage of the Tour de France 2020

→ The general classification: Find the general classification of the Tour de France 2020



Tour de France 2020: the long road to becoming a stopover city

With, on average, nearly 4 million viewers per stage on French television and broadcast in more than 190 countries, the Tour de France is an unparalleled media showcase for cities. ” Pau is known to the depths of the United States thanks to the Tour »Rejoices Josy Poueyto MP and municipal councilor in charge of the Tour de France in the capital of Béarn.

More than 250 candidates

But to have the right to participate in this adventure, the road is long. First thing to do for the elected official wishing to host the event: write a letter to the Amaury Sport Organization (ASO) group, organizer of the Grande Boucle. ” When we receive this letter, we then send an acknowledgment of receipt and a form to fill out with technical information and a few words on the city’s cycling policy. », Explains Cyrille Tricart in charge of external relations for the Tour de France for ASO

→ Tour de France 2020: new dates, key stages … All the info

Between 250 and 300 communities apply each year to become a stopover city. To decide between them, several criteria are taken into account. “ The most important constraint is that we cannot go everywhere and that our choice is influenced by the city that receives the big departure. », Comments Cyrille Tricart. With a departure from Nice for the 107e edition in 2020, the cities of northern France were therefore unlikely to see the Tour stop there …

→ MAP. Tour de France 2020 route: map of stages unveiled

Between 80,000 and 120,000 € the entrance fee

Another important factor is the ability of cities to properly accommodate teams of runners and the organization of the Tour, ie nearly 1,800 people. By adding the media and the advertising caravan, a total of 4,500 individuals invest each day in a stopover town… without counting the spectators.

Delegations of the Tour therefore move, without warning, in the candidate municipalities. “Lhe visits are made in cities that we do not know well: for others, like Gap or Pau for example, we know that they have the possibility of welcoming us », Explains Cyrille Tricart.

→ VIDEO. Why does the Tour de France start from abroad?

Strict specifications

Each year, at the end of August – beginning of September, the final route is recorded. A letter then announces to the (happy) elected officials that their city has been chosen, before the official announcement of the route in October. The winning municipalities must then put their hand in the portfolio. Because to host the Tour, you must first pay an entry fee to the ASO group

For the 2019 edition, it was necessary to pay € 120,000 to be the city of arrival, € 80,000 to accommodate a departure and € 50,000 for the rest day. An invoice which is increasing with the multiple works to be carried out to meet the requirements of the Tour and the setting up of the festivities linked to the event. ” In addition to the duty paid to ASO, we have invested nearly € 100,000 in logistics. The expense is important but unavoidable », Analyzes Maurice Valla, mayor of Privas, Ardèche commune of about 9,000 inhabitants which will be the arrival city of the fifth stage of the Tour de France 2020.

→ ANALYSIS. Tour de France: the puzzle of urban development

Planing of level crossings, purchase of barricades, etc., the strict specifications binding the cities and the Tour de France indeed involve numerous investments. ” It includes the measures that cities are required to take as well as the conditions of use of the “Tour de France brand”, such as the application of competition logos. », Explains Cyrille Tricart.

“An unrivaled tool”

The requirements are many but the game is worth the effort. Stage town for the 72e once this year, the city of Pau is once again impatiently awaiting the Grande Boucle. During the passage of the Tour, ” our hotel park is overflowing and if the city represents itself year after year, it is because we meet there », Assures Josy Poueyto. ” It is an unparalleled tool to promote the city », Confirms Maurice Valla.

→ READ. Tour de France 2020: the complete profile of the stages of this edition

A very lucrative influence, according to the city of Albi. Host of the Tour for three days during the 2019 edition, the Albigensian city released on January 10 a study on the impact of the Tour on its economy. It measured the consumption of spectators and the advertising gains generated by the passage of cyclists compared to the initial investment. The result is clear: the yield is almost nine times higher than the money spent by the municipality. Welcome the yellow jersey, a golden opportunity to change gear for the stopover towns.



The Israeli flag flies on the Tour de France

Pierre Riou does not take offense. This 73-year-old cyclist from Nantes has straddled his bike twice since the start of the competition, in Nice, to protest against the presence on the Tour de France of the Israel Start-Up Nation team.

“The Palestinian people resist by working their land, I participate in my own way in their struggle by pedaling”, confides this retiree who has completed two stages, spearhead of the France-Palestine Solidarity association. Which mobilized this summer on its site to denounce this “Israeli operation for the political recovery of sport”.

“When we talk to them, people on the side of the road listen to us and understand what we are doing, but many are not really aware of what is going on”, continues the Nantes. It is, however, very clear in the mind of Sylvan Adams, founder and boss of the Israel Start-Up Nation team. After making his alya, this billionaire of Quebec origin decided to use his passion for cycling, which he practiced as an amateur, as a tool for promoting Israel.

“Promote the image of our country”

“On the one hand we have to encourage cycling in Israel and on the other we wear our national colors blue and white with the name Israel proudly inscribed in large letters on our jersey, we have to promote our country to show the true face. Israel which is so misunderstood because of one-sided media coverage ”, he said at the beginning of the year.

He then spoke shortly after the accession, for a large check, of Israel Start-Up Nation within the 19 Pro Teams teams, in other words the highest international level which induces an automatic presence in the biggest races in the world. .

The building of his team was carried out with great speed by this man who made his fortune in real estate. Since the creation of what was then called Israel Cycling Academy in 2014, he has crossed the steps of cycling four to four, thanks to enormous financial means.

Hiring big names in cycling

According to estimates published at the time, he offered 3 million euros to RCS, the organizing company of the Giro d’Italia for a start and three stages in Israel during the 2018 edition of the Giro. He had even obtained a finish of the last stage in Italy Via della Conciliazione, in front of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Before Vatican diplomats opposed it, forcing the organizers to fall back on an arrival in front of the Colosseum.

→ READ. Tour de France 2020: Soren Kragh Andersen wins the 14th stage

On the sporting front, he first bet on little-known European cyclists supposed to train the few competitive Israeli cyclists, including Guy Niv racing on the 2020 Tour. But this strategy has shown its limits and he took out his checkbook for hire some old glories of the peloton, the Irishman Dan Martin or the German André Greipel, who are part of the Grande Boucle.

→ READ. Tour de France 2020: the long road to becoming a stopover city

His last coup was in July, when Christopher Froome, quadruple winner of the Tour de France, in delicacy with his British employer Ineos, announced that he would run in the blue and white jersey in 2021.

An Alsatian in Israeli colors

Three names of not very well known French riders appear in the team: Picard Rudy Barbier, Breton Alexis Renard and Alsatian Hugo Hofstetter, the only one on this Tour and invisible since the start from Nice. This choice, supposed to guarantee the support of the French public and of France Télévisions cameras in the event of a long-term escape, is reinforced by the presence of a sports director. Norman, Lionel Marie. Which does not wish to speak on something other than the strictly sporting ground, the press service not having answered the requests for interviews of The cross.

The letters sent by the France-Palestine Solidarity association to the three French runners of Israel Start-Up Nation have also remained unanswered. In its communication, the team prefers to stick to a polished speech. It thus refers to the diversity of origins and religions of its workforce, highlighting the hiring, in 2020, in its reserve team, of a Moroccan and Muslim runner.


The Emirates and Kazakhstan in the race

Israel is not the only state present on the jerseys of racing teams since the start of the Tour. The Astana group, named after the capital of Kazakhstan, opened this diplomatic ball in 2007. Bahrain-McLaren was created in 2016, in particular to promote the Kingdom of Bahrain. In 2017, UAE Team Emirates bought the license of the former Italian team Lampre to wave the banner of the United Arab Emirates on cycling sport.



PSG – OM, 12 yellow cards, five reds and one goal

Some will be delighted to have attended a “real classic” between PSG and OM, Sunday, September 13 in Paris. An “old-fashioned” confrontation embellished with bloodshed, questionable decisions and finally ended with a shower of boxes and an almost general fight at the end of the match. But more the memory of the PSG-OM of yesteryear, often eaten up by altercations, during and after the meetings, the sad spectacle given by the two clubs to complete this 3e L1 day especially revived the Paris-Marseille war with a rather pathetic scenario, against a background of insults, racism and homophobia.

→ READ. Racism, the word of champions is slowly released

On the sporting front, the victory of Marseille ended a very long wait on the Canebière. A small goal from Florian Thauvin half an hour into the game allowed the Marseillais to defeat the great Parisian rival for the first time in nine years and thus put an end to a sad series of twenty unsuccessful matches against PSG (17 defeats, 3 draws). ” It’s obviously a great joy, I especially want to congratulate the players, rejoiced André Villas-Boas, the Marseille coach. They were huge.

A fight against a background of racism?

Unfortunately, the meeting, preceded by a controversy on social networks after the publication by Parisian supporters of offensive homophobic photos, ended with the start of a general fight which ended, in the last seconds, with three exclusions on the Parisian side (Neymar, Paredes, Kurzawa) and two on the Marseille side (Benedetto, Amavi).

A final altercation at the end of a very tense match which quickly took over the sport. In question, the accusations of racism brought by the Parisian star Neymar against the Spanish defender Alvaro Gonzalez who would have called him ” monkey »On the lawn of the Park. What his opponent denies.

According to isolated images broadcast by the Téléfoot channel, Neymar complained shortly after half an hour of play to the referee, repeating over and over again ” racismo, no! “(” Racism, no! “, In Spanish), pointing to the defender of OM. At the very end of the match, after his exclusion for slapping the back of Alvaro Gonzalez’s head, Neymar chanted ” Look at the racist! That’s why I hit him! »To the fourth referee and in front of a camera, leaving the pitch.

Insults on social networks

The former Barça player also spread on social networks after the match: “ My only regret is that I didn’t hit that c … in the face », Tweeted the Parisian n ° 10 an hour after the meeting. In the process, Alvaro Gonzalez also posted a message on the same social network: “ There is no room for racism. Clean career and with a lot of comrades every day. Sometimes you have to learn to lose and recognize it in the field. Three incredible points today. Go Om. Gracias familia (thank you family) “.

The offensive exchanges between the two opponents then continued on these same social networks. ” There are the TV pictures, things will be judged “, For his part reacted the sports director of the Parisian club, Leonardo, on Téléfoot. ” Neymar was a little pissed off, I hope we have nothing to do (with that). I hope that will not put black on our victory. There is no room for racism in football. It’s a Clasico “, Commented André Villas-Boas. A sadly agitated “classic” which could therefore have repercussions in the coming days. But probably not for good reasons.



US Open: tennis player Dominic Thiem, a strange advent

Almost all the predictions promised him victory. But not like this, not at the end of a non-match, of an improbable game where the fear of losing was fun to jump on one of the fighters then on the other, to the point of grotesque or almost. Dominic Thiem had an appointment with history Sunday, September 13 in the final of the US Open. He honored him, but arriving very late on the court, and after four hours of a meeting far from being up to the challenge.

A historic first

At 27, the Austrian is indeed the first player of the generation born in the 1990s to finally touch the Grail of Grand Slam success. The first to win the kick out of the ogres of the “Big 3” – Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic – since 2016. The first to register a new name on the list of a major tournament on the circuit since the Croatian Marin Cilic in the US Open in 2014. Certainly, circumstances prevent us from really talking about passing the baton: Roger Federer was absent after his knee operation, Rafael Nadal had preferred to ignore a context turned upside down by the coronavirus and Novak Djokovic s’ is excluded on his own from the event by a gesture of temper which disqualified him in the round of 16. But the result is there.

Not the way. History can also remember that Dominic Thiem is the first since 1949 to lift the trophy after being led two sets to nothing. Because for more than an hour and a half, it was Alexander Zverev, his opponent of the day, who reigned supreme in this duel. A shame. The German had arrived at this stage of the competition by distinguishing himself with matches that started badly, an always delicate start that put him in danger in the quarter as well as in the semi-finals. Except that this time, the world N ° 7 landed by conquering, tightening his game by relying on a reinforced concrete service. A domination materialized by two first sets dispatched, 6-2, 6-4, but without great opposition, Dominic Thiem proving to be exceeded, behind on almost all the balls, unable to let go of his blows.

Part undermined by the fear of losing

And then suddenly the matter turned to be quite different. Finished the gamberge for the Austrian, the fear of still missing his chance after his three finals already lost, at Roland Garros against Nadal in 2018 and 2019, in Australia in early 2020 against Djokovic. “I knew that if I lost, I would be 0-4 in the final, and I couldn’t get it out of my head”, he was to explain after the meeting. The switch was made in his noggin, and on the other side of the court in that of his rival, losing in turn his means and his fine certainties. Alexander Zverev or the master of inconstancy.

The 23-year-old is a gifted player, as we know from his career of excellence in junior at the dawn of the 2010s. Since 2016 and his sensational entry into the professional world, the German is struggling to make his talent speak, especially in Grand Slam. This US Open could be a game-changer. But no. After his start without cloud, Alexander Zverev began to multiply unforced errors and double faults (15 in total). Once the situation is reversed, with two sets everywhere, he is yet still two points from the match on several occasions. Too late, no doubt.

Everything was played in the tie-break in an erratic fifth round with an extremely thin level of play, coming down to who will crack the first. It was a paralyzed Alexander Zverev, with no more power in the service, who finally let a Dominic Thiem at the end of the roll physically pick up the victory. The advent of the Austrian has long been heralded. But to follow in the wake of the giants of the “Big 3”, there is still some way to go.



Tour de France: another stage victory for Tadej Pogacar

The grip of Slovenia is confirmed on this 2020 edition of the Tour de France. On Sunday 13 September, Tadej Pogacar beat his compatriot Primoz Roglic in the sprint at the finish of the fifteenth stage at the top of the Grand Colombier, where the outgoing winner, the Colombian Egan Bernal, lost his footing.

Tadej Pogacar (UAE Emirates) got closer thanks to bonuses 40 seconds behind Roglic (Jumbo) in the general classification, one week before the arrival in Paris. The two Slovenes had already confiscated the first two places in the second Pyrenean stage, last Sunday in Laruns, already in that order.

→ READ. Tour de France 2020: Slovenian Tadej Pogacar wins the 9th stage

Egan Bernal, who let go 13 kilometers from the finish, gave up more than 6 minutes in the general classification. Either a scathing failure, the first since 2014 in the Tour, for the British team Ineos of Dave Brailsford, formerly Sky.

Mastery of the Jumbo team

Tadej Pogacar, 21, took off his second success in the Tour, for his first participation, on the eve of the second day of rest, scheduled in Isère. In this 174.5 kilometer stage which included three difficult climbs, another Colombian, Nairo Quintana, also lost a lot (3 min 50 s) although he gave up less time than Bernal. For Colombia, the first rider in the standings is now Rigoberto Uran, third at 1 min 34 s behind Tadej Roglic.

→ READ. Tour de France 2020: the long road to becoming a stopover city

The decision was made in the final ascent of the Grand Colombier, over 17 kilometers long, mastered from start to finish by the Jumbo formation of Roglic, with in particular the riders Wout Van Aert, George Bennett and Tom Dumoulin at the action.

Supported by his teammates, the wearer of the yellow jersey Tadej Pogacar started 600 meters from the finish without being able to close the gap on Pogacar, who beat him in the sprint. Australia’s Richie Porte took third place, 5 seconds behind, and Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez fourth, 8 seconds behind.

A quartet took the lead

The breakaway launched at the start of the stage was controlled remotely by the Jumbo team, which gave it 4 min 30 s at the foot of the first ascent, 100 kilometers from the finish. If a quartet (Herrada, Rolland, Geschke, Gogl) fell in front at the top of the Selle de Fromentel, the gap was further reduced, to two minutes, in the second ascent, the Col de la Biche.

Pierre Rolland, passed in the lead, and the Austrian Michael Gogl presented themselves at the foot of the Grand Colombier, the longest climb since the start of the Tour, with just over a minute and a half on the peloton still led by five teammates scored by Tadej Roglic.

The French Pierre Rolland, the last survivor, was joined 13 kilometers from the finish when Igan Bernal, who appeared suffocated by the pace, was unable to follow the group of favorites, still about twenty units.



Tour de France 2020: Soren Kragh Andersen wins the 14th stage

The Danish Soren Kragh Andersen concluded the collective work of the Sunweb team to win the 14th stage of the Tour de France, Saturday September 12, on the banks of the Rhône in Lyon. Kragh Andersen came out in the final to lead the first peloton by 15 seconds, set by Slovenian Luka Mezgec ahead of Italian Simone Consonni and Slovakian Peter Sagan.

Slovenian Primoz Roglic (Jumbo) donned his sixth yellow jersey at the end of this heat-driven transition stage.

→ DOSSIER. Tour de France 2020: all the information to follow this 107e editing

Peter Sagan’s Bora left most of the sprinters behind and especially the wearer of the green jersey, the Irishman Sam Bennett, in the main difficulty of the day, the Col de Béal, crossed in the lead by the Swiss Stefan Küng who had escaped shortly after departure.

A new success for Sunweb

The forcing continued for about sixty kilometers, with the help of the CCC of the Italian Matteo Trentin. He led Bennett and his family to surrender 80 kilometers from the finish. In the end, the Sunweb team led the operations. First with the Belgian Tiesj Benoot, who went out on the penultimate hill, 11 kilometers from the finish. Then with Kragh Andersen who countered an attack from the French Julian Alaphilippe, himself chasing after the German Lennard Kämna.

→ ROUTE. Tour de France 2020: the map of stages

Kragh Andersen, who had never won on the Tour before, brought Sunweb another success after that of Swiss Marc Hirschi on Thursday in Sarran (Corrèze). The 26-year-old Dane, winner of Paris-Tours in 2018, won the Paris-Nice time trial last March.

“I had really good legs, savored the winner of the day. Marc Hirschi inspired us, it gave us confidence ”.

→ READ ALSO. Tour de France 2020: abandonment of Romain Bardet, victim of a concussion

Sunday, the 15th 174.5 kilometer long stage links Lyon to the top of the Grand Colombier. Two first-class passes, the Selle de Fromentel and the Col de la Biche, are climbed before the final ascent of 17.4 kilometers (at 7.1%), classified out of category.

→ READ. Tour de France 2020: the long road to becoming a stopover city



→ The results of the day: The complete classification of the 14e stage of the Tour de France 2020

→ The general classification: Find the general classification of the Tour de France 2020



Tour de France 2020: abandonment of Romain Bardet, victim of a concussion

Romain Bardet, the best French chance for the general classification after the fall of Thibaut Pinot in the first stage, had to abandon the Tour de France on Friday evening September 11, suffering from a concussion after falling in a downhill during the 13th step.

The Auvergne runner took exams at Clermont-Ferrand University Hospital after the finish of the race at Puy Mary (Cantal). He occupied 11th place in the general classification. “The fall was violent, downhill, and I struggled all day, said Romain Bardet. The medical examinations confirmed what I had foreseen and I am not able to continue the race ”.

→ MAINTENANCE. Romain Bardet: “You have to go to the end of your abilities, then accept your destiny”

Second in the Tour in 2016 and third in 2017, Romain Bardet was the best French chance for the general classification after the fall of Thibaut Pinot in Nice. His retirement is the first of his career in the Tour de France in which he has participated every year since his first participation in 2013.

Date of resumption of competition according to the evolution

Winner of several mountain stages in previous years, he brought back the polka-dot jersey for the best climber last year on the Champs-Élysées. “Romain had a brain scan which did not reveal any lesion”, said Dr Eric Bouvat, doctor of the French team. However, he must stop his sports activities. His date of resumption of the competition will be defined according to the evolution ”.

→ ROUTE. Tour de France 2020: the map of stages

The start of the 13e stage was given in Châtel-Guyon (Puy-de-Dôme), near his place of residence in the vicinity of Clermont-Ferrand. The arrival was judged at Puy Mary which he described on Friday morning as “A great spot”, “One of my favorite places”.

At the start of the race, he met his wife Amandine and his first child Angus, born during confinement, on the side of the road. “The legs are one thing, success is something else, he admitted before this step. It’s OK for now. But there is a part of fatality in this “.

A fall of 65 km / hour

Romain Bardet fell at the 100th kilometer of the route of the 13e 191.5 km stage, at the same time as the Dutchman Bauke Mollema, soon forced to retire (fracture of the left wrist), and other riders including the Colombian Nairo Quintana. Stunned, his right hip raw, he got back on the bike to take his place in the peloton and finish the stage.

→ THE FACTS. Tour de France 2020: Daniel Martinez wins in the 13th stage

If he was left behind on the ramps of the last two climbs, the Frenchman managed to limit the loss of time in the general classification, falling from fourth to eleventh place, three minutes from the wearer of the yellow jersey, the Slovenian Primoz Roglic.

The fall occurred in a wide downhill curve, at a speed of 65 km / h according to the details he gave on arrival. “At this speed, it’s not a harmless fall”, had reacted in race his sports director Julien Jurdie.

“I was cursed today”

“It couldn’t be worse todaysaid the runner after the finish. I stumbled and hit my head. I struggled to find my senses instantly. I have severe pain in my right leg. I lost all my feelings in my fall, I was cursed today ”.

→ DOSSIER. Tour de France 2020: all the information to follow this 107e editing

Romain Bardet’s 8th Tour de France, his last under the colors of the AG2R La Mondiale team for which he has been racing since his debut, therefore ended prematurely. Next year, the native of Brioude (Haute-Loire) will run for the German team Sunweb.



Tour de France 2020: Daniel Martinez wins in the 13th stage

The chain of Puys, with the Puy Mary as the highlight, smiled on Colombians and Slovenes on Friday 11 September: the Slovenian yellow jersey Primoz Roglic and his compatriot Tadej Pogacar dominated their rivals at the end of the 13e act of this Grand Boucle, won by Colombian Daniel Martinez (Education First).

→ DOSSIER. Tour de France 2020: all the information to follow this 107e editing

In the general classification, the Slovenes occupy the first two places – with a 44 second advantage for Roglic over Pogacar – and are ahead of no less than four Colombians, Egan Bernal, Rigoberto Uran, Nairo Quintana and Miguel Angel Lopez. In difficulty in the last ascent (with passages at 15%), Egan Bernal, the defending champion, gave up more than thirty seconds to the Slovenian duo on the steep slopes rising towards the Auvergne volcano. He is now in third place, 59 seconds from the yellow jersey.

For the stage victory, Daniel Martinez (24) beat in the final two German riders of the Bora team, in order Lennard Kämna and Maximilian Schachmann. In one of the emblematic sites of Auvergne, the French for their part had a day without.

More French people in the Top 10

Up front all day, Julian Alaphilippe could not fight to the end for the victory. And in the group of favorites, Romain Bardet (4e overall at the start of the stage), handicapped by a fall, and Guillaume Martin let go in the penultimate climb.

→ ROUTE. Tour de France 2020: the map of stages

On the line, the disbursement of Martin, who occupied the 3e place at the start of Châtel-Guyon, amounted to 2 mn 46 on Roglic. Bardet lost barely less (2 min 30) at Pas de Peyrol, the name of the Puy Mary road pass. The two French runners are at the same time relegated to the 11e and 12e places in the general classification, three minutes from Roglic.

→ READ. The 2020 Tour de France begins a crazy obstacle course

Saturday September 12, the 14e stage will link Clermont-Ferrand to Lyon on a route of 194 kilometers which includes a second category pass before the halfway point. Two small ribs dot the final before the finish judged on the banks of the Rhône.



→ The results of the day: The complete classification of the 13e stage of the Tour de France 2020

→ The general classification: Find the general classification of the Tour de France 2020



The 2020 Tour de France begins a crazy obstacle course

Well there we are. The Tour de France at the foot of the mountain. This terrible third week which in fact begins before the end of the second. Hell is for now, or at least purgatory, this Friday, September 11, between Chatel-Guyon and Puy Mary, with a thirteenth stage not entirely lucky. The black cat is likely to hang around these five passages at more than 1000 meters, with a final to bristle the hair on the slopes more than 10% of the Col de Neronne, more than 15% at the end of the ascent. .

→ ANALYSIS. Tour de France, still very high and very fast

In 2004, Richard Virenque took control of the stage in this climb to win solo at Saint-Flour, seizing his seventh polka-dot jersey and becoming the 24e French rider to triumph on July 14. Suffice to say that a climber could experience the same bloats this Friday. Or just after, because it starts again and it lasts, with the fourteenth leg breaker on Saturday through the mountains of Forez and Lyonnais, and especially the fifteenth, Sunday, with very severe from the hundredth kilometer.

Let us judge: the unique Col de la Biche which is not really famous for its soft eyes, and the Grand Colombier, surveyed on two sides, which is not for nothing called the “Giant of the Jura”.

The insidious threat of Covid-19

And these are just appetizers. Question: before the rest day, will the champions want to work them? This is not sure at all, especially since they have to deal with another ordeal: the horrifying suspense concerning their Covid tests. They will again lend their noses to the swab, and wait in anguish for long hours.

With the risk of everything suddenly collapsing, exclusion striking in the event of double positivity in a team, a single sufficient in four of those who have already known a patient (Ineos-Grenadiers, Cofidis, AG2R La Mondiale and Michelton-Scott) .

Four of the first eight in the general classification – Egan Bernal (2e), Guillaume Martin (3e), Romain Bardet (4e) and Adam Yates (8e) – standing in just over a minute, so pedal on a wire. What is the point of forcing their talent if the pandemic catches up with them in extremis? “This virus is a blanket of lead over our heads”, deplores Vincent Lavenu, the boss of AG2R training. The virus in fact adds a parameter to the waiting strategies and pushes even more to preserve its flame. How many will they be, the cadors, at the rendezvous of the final bouquet?

The fireworks resumes in any case from Tuesday, September 15 with a blinding explosion expected on the peaks. Not necessarily with the first rocket at Villard-de-Lans, but most certainly with the second the next day on the Col de la Loze. “We are all very afraid of this stage with this arrival at an infernal altitude”, recognizes Cédric Vasseur, the manager of Cofidis. At more than 2,300 m, runners will seek their breath. Strategists are already retaining theirs. Certain that failures can appear there, and big gaps widen.

The ability to withstand the test

“How will the organizations react, which this year only supported workloads that were much more modest than during the usual seasons?”, asks Jacky Maillot, the doctor of Groupama FDJ. It is on this type of stage and on this terrible week that the answers to all the questions we have been asking ourselves since the start of the event will fall ”.

The Jumbo-Visma of the yellow jersey Primoz Roglic and the Ineos of Egan Bernal certainly display impressive collective power, but the list of contenders for the coronation is as long as ever. “The level this year is super high”, recently summed up Warren Barguil, the climber-teammate of the Colombian Nairo Quintana who has not given up on making powder speak. Except that nobody really knows how the favorites will hold the shock if the firecrackers ignite by then in all directions to erode their certainties.

After the Col de la Loze, there is still some left to shake up the peloton. The sawtooth of the eighteenth stage towards La Roche-sur-Foron with a grueling Glières plateau to further tear down the morale of the troops. And then this Planche des beaux filles and its last six kilometers as steep as justice, against the clock and the ultimate justice of the peace if the game has not yet been decided.

It would be the devil, after all these summits deployed, that this Tour 2020 boils down to a stroke on the clock, even though the exercise does not fascinate many people. But don’t we say that the devil is sometimes hiding in the details? So…