A picture is sometimes worth more than words. Take, for example, the expression on the face of the Italian Filippo Ganna, pursed mouth, startled eyes, this Saturday July 23 during the 20e stage of the Tour de France, when Wout van Aert crossed the finish line of the time trial in Rocamadour (Lot). The Belgian from the Jumbo-Visma has just put 42 s in the sight of the reigning world champion in the specialty. In the area, there is only the Gouffre de Padirac to compete.
Wout van Aert nevertheless said that he had « heavy legs ». They regained all their lightness this Saturday. The combined effect of a good massage and a night’s sleep? The cumulard signs its third stage victory during this 2022 edition, the sixth for the Dutch armada. “I still believe that there is fatigue after three weeks”will concede the “green monster”, moved to tears, at the microphone of France Télévisions on arrival.
His teammate, Jonas Vingegaard, was in the maternity ward on September 19, 2020, when Primoz Roglic saw his hopes of winning the Tour evaporate after the time trial at La Planche des Belles-Filles (Haute- Saone). The yellow jersey has few memories of this episode, but he still wanted to avoid a similar disappointment. So he gave it his all. Maybe even too much.
In the lead at the first two intermediate scores, the Dane has multiplied the risks since leaving Lacapelle-Marival. So much so that his teammate Wout van Aert, sitting on the hot seatcould not restrain a movement of the hand to intimate to the yellow jersey to calm the game…
Barely a few seconds later, the tightrope walker almost hit the rock in the descent of the Magès coast, 2.2 kilometers from the finish. But the black virgin of Rocamadour had to watch over him. Thanks to her for saving you a bad pun with the tube Rock Amadour by Gerard Blanchard.
The title of super combative
For a time, we thought that the stage victory in this time trial would be decided between Van Aert, Vingegaard and Geraint Thomas. The Welshman of the Ineos-Grenadiers formation, who had this time thought of removing his « fucking jacket » – unlike the inaugural time trial in Copenhagen – overtook Frenchman David Gaudu.
» I expected to be caught by Geraint Thomas, I didn’t get caught by [Tadej] Pogacar so it’s already a good point « will recognize the Groupama-FDJ rider, 26e of the day 3 min 10 s from the winner, but still 4e in the general classification.
On arrival, the winner of the 2018 Tour, on the other hand, will have been preceded on the wire by a Tadej Pogacar never resigned. We will also keep in mind this time trial the image of the Slovenian, still fresh enough to sprint in the first meters of the Côte de l’Hospitalet and snatch the 3e place, 27 s from Van Aert and 8 from Vingegaard.
With him, the public has for his hours spent in front of television. We even wonder if « Pogi » would not have deserved the title of super combative. But Wout van Aert took part in this Tour de France and was chosen unanimously.
Jonas Vingegaard still has to cover 115 kilometers on Sunday to validate the first Danish victory since the controversial Bjarne Riis in 1996. He just has to stay on his bike when drinking champagne, not to try a rear wheel on the Parisian pavement or even avoid getting involved in the sprint on the Champs-Elysées – Van Aert takes care of that – and everything should be fine for him.
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