After making the day’s breakaway, Michael Matthews was able to take maximum points at the intermediate sprint and then go on to defend Warren Barguil’s king of the mountains jersey. Warren was able to add some more points to his tally following an attack on the Port de Balès and remains the leader of the mountains classification.
The twelfth stage of the Tour de France headed into the Pyrenees with six categorised ascents and one intermediate sprint before the finish in Peryagudes. The breakaway was hotly contested as soon as the flag dropped and it was a break of twelve that eventually escaped the pelotons grasp after 20 kilometres.
With an intermediate sprint at 96 kilometres, Michael Matthews joined the move in attempt to collect some more points. The breakaway quickly extended their lead to six minutes and Michael remained tucked inside the leading group in preparation for the upcoming action at Loures-Barousse. A perfectly timed sprint meant that Michael could cross the line first to collect the maximum 20 points.
With the polka dot jersey on the shoulders of Warren Barguil, Michael’s attention then turned to defending his team mates lead in the king of the mountains competition. On the Col de Menté Michael accelerated away from the break to take the maximum points. As the road rose en route to the summit of Port de Balès, Michael dropped back to the peloton after an impressive ride in the mountains.
Looking to defend his lead in the king of the mountains classification, Warren came to the forefront of the peloton on the climb to Port de Balès. After an initial move with two other riders was neutralised, the Frenchman went solo to take 10 points at the summit. Warren dropped back to the group of favourites, a peloton that had reduced to just 15 riders. A strong ride saw Warren stay with the group for a further 10 kilometres, only loosing contact with 10 kilometres to the finish. After a brilliant fight Warren finished the day in 12th place and retains his lead in the mountains classification.
After the stage Warren explained: “I am very satisfied with today’s stage. I think I rode smartly and it was good to collect some more points. In hindsight it was probably good to have bad luck not getting into the break because I could save energy and was still able to get some points from the day. I will keep fighting for it and tomorrow I hope to be able to take some more points.”
Team Sunweb’s Tour de France coach Aike Visbeek commented: “Warren was a marked man and we couldn’t get him into the break today. Michael managed to make it and it was good for him to take the intermediate sprint, and then be able to go on to help Warren with the king of the mountains competition. Warren put in a good effort to take some extra points at the HC climb and was able to stay with the leaders for quite some time after that. Overall it was a good team performance and we look forward to tomorrow.”
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