Race report

Marc Hirschi puts on another gutsy display in the mountains

Tour de France

With a big GC battle on the steep slopes of Col de la Loze yesterday, today’s parcours didn’t feature a summit finish but with almost 5000 metres of climbing throughout the day – it was set to be another brutal day in the saddle for the peloton.

From the flag drop the action was fierce, with multiple attacks from the bunch. With the stage marked in the calendar for the many, the team were ever present in the moves. After an incredibly fast paced opening 20 kilometres of racing a group of 32 riders gained a gap over the peloton with Søren Kragh Andersen, Nikias Arndt, Marc Hirschi and Nicholas Roche all making the split.

However, with a few teams missing the move, the pace remained high in the bunch which resulted in a strong pace being set on the opening climb of the day. After fighting hard to set up Hirschi and Roche, both Arndt and Kragh Andersen returned to the peloton behind.

The thinned down group pushed on and eventually the elastic snapped, with the peloton sitting up. Over the next two climbs their advantage continued to grow, with Hirschi taking some good points in the KOM standings. Unfortunately on one of the many twisting and fast-paced descents, Hirschi misjudged a corner and came off of his bike. He was able to regather himself and return to the action, setting up another 80 kilometre solo effort.

Fighting all the way on his own over the tough remaining climbs of the day, Hirschi was caught by the charging GC group on the final ascent before following them to the finish, where he crossed the line in 13th place. Hirschi’s efforts throughout the stage wouldn’t go unrewarded as he made a trip to the podium to pick up the most combative rider award for the day.

“It was a left hand corner and I came into it with too much speed, then I just slipped away,” explained Hirschi after the stage. “It’s a shame because I took some points during the stage for the mountain jersey. I don’t know if in the end I would have been able to take it but my legs were good before the crash. Kwiatkowski was really strong in the break today, he did so much work, so I don’t know if I would have had the legs to beat him and Carapaz at the finish. I tried my best to chase back on and closed the gap a little bit but then it started to go back out again and I exploded on the last categorised climb. It’s not my goal to take the Super Combative award but we will see if I get it at the end of the race. It’s the Tour de France, you always fight until the end.”

Team Sunweb coach Matt Winston added: “The stage started pretty good, we had four guys in the break with Nikias, Søren, Nico and Marc. The guys were sprinting for the mountains points. Marc went for the points and over the top got a gap with Carapaz, and three more riders came up. They continued from there and Marc was collecting points, building a nice total in the KOM jersey. He crashed on the descent and then chased all day to try and come back to the leaders but it just wasn’t possible in the end. I think it showed a real committed effort and he was caught by the peloton with around ten kilometres to go and finished with the yellow jersey group. He took the most competitive rider award once again and I think he’s shown his true grit throughout the stage.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 KWIATKOWSKI Michał INEOS Grenadiers 4:47:33 120
2 CARAPAZ Richard INEOS Grenadiers ,, 50
3 VAN AERT Wout Team Jumbo-Visma 1:51 25
13 HIRSCHI Marc Team Sunweb 2:04 -
55 BENOOT Tiesj Team Sunweb 19:27 -
60 PEDERSEN Casper Team Sunweb ,, -
73 ARNDT Nikias Team Sunweb 28:18 -
86 ROCHE Nicolas Team Sunweb 28:51 -
94 KRAGH ANDERSEN Søren Team Sunweb ,, -
147 NIEUWENHUIS Joris Team Sunweb 31:32 -
149 BOL Cees Team Sunweb ,, -