On Monday, the athletes had a rest, but on Tuesday they had to measure a 169-kilometer section with four categorized climbs. This was the second of four sections of the Pyrenees.
The fastest stage was performed by the Austrian Patrick Konrad “Bora – Hansgrohe”. He reached the finish line in four hours, one minute and 59 seconds. A group of followers, second and third place winners, Sony Kolbrelli from Italy (“Bahrain – Victorious”) and Australian Michael Matthew (“BikeExchange”), lost 42 seconds.
The herringbone was the first behind the small group of followers, losing three seconds, but 45 seconds behind the leader. He won the high seventh place, which is the best performance for an athlete on a tour this year.
Slovenian Tadej Pogačar (UAE), the leader of the overall standings, lost 13 minutes and 49 seconds to the winner, which allowed him to take the 14th position. Richard Carapass (“Ineos Grenadiers”), an Ecuadorian who was not far behind in the overall standings, was higher, while Rigoverto Uranus (“EF Education – Nippo”) from Colombia was in 17th place.
One of the leaders of “Trek-Segafredo”, Italian Vincenzo Nibali did not leave the start at this stage and withdrew from the tour. He took 33rd place in the overall standings before the 16th stage, which was the third best result among the representatives of “Trek-Segafredo”.
The Latvian Cycling Federation (LRF) informs that the first kilometers led down the hill. The onset of the day began to take shape after the first mountain. The riders in small groups broke away from the big peleton, which was controlled by the UAE, represented by the overall leader Pogachar. Latvian champion Skujiņš also left the group as one of the last after the first sprint intermediate finish.
It soon became clear that this group, if it worked together successfully, would have a good chance of not being caught by the peleton. It was important that none of the leading riders in the overall standings were in the race. Herringbone was in the lead among experienced men – Austrian champion Patrick Conrad, Italian champion Kolbrelli, Australian Matthew, French mountain rider David Godis. For a long time, the Skujiņš group was led by three men who were the first to escape from the peleton – Christopher Jensen, Jan Bakelants and Fabians Dobuze.
Herringbone was active during the distance. Carnikavietis went well in the shifts and looked ready to fight for the highest places. Konrads escaped from the Skujiņa group in the penultimate ascent.
The Austrian champion first reached the leaders of the time, but by the end of the rise he had gained a solo lead, which he was not going to give up to any of the competitors. Conrad was also quite fast on the descent, which was made especially challenging by the rain. The Skujiņa group became more active in the last rise. Both Godis and Kolbrelli escaped from it for a moment, but both were achieved.
Skujiņš said his name in the last rise. At first he followed Godi closely, but later attacked himself several times. Although several riders in the group stayed, there was no serious dropout. In the last kilometers, it was clear that no one would reach Conrad.
Pogačars is in the lead, Uranus loses five minutes and 18 seconds, but the Danish Jonas Vingegārds (“Jumbo-Visma”) is left with another 14 seconds. Herringbone with performance in the 16th stage has risen from 79th place to 70th place.
In the sprinter test, 47 points give Skujiņš the 23rd place, but in the overall rating of the mountain king he ranks in the 51st position with one point.
On Wednesday, cyclists in the third stage of the Pyrenees will cover a distance of 178.4 kilometers with two first and one highest category climbs to the finish.
The Tour de France will end on July 18 with a finish in the Champs Elysées. Six days after the final stage of the “Tour de France”, the cycling competition for the Tokyo Olympic Games will begin, so the multi-day trip has been postponed to a slightly earlier time this year.
The Tour de France is taking place for the 108th time. The 21-stage race will only take place on French roads this year, although the start was originally planned in Copenhagen. Seven of the stages will be more convenient for sprinters.
For the fourth year in a row, Skujiņš will start in the “Tour de France” ranks of the “Trek-Segafredo” team, who in the first half of June was crowned Latvian champion in the group and also in the individual race.
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