Renamed yesterday evening the Planche-des-Cruelles-Filles by Michal Kwiatkowski, one of the lieutenants of the Ineos team, the final ascent in the Vosges has decanted the situation to the general and delivered a first trend.
Thomas sends a message, even to … Bernal
We wondered about the state of form of the Welsh who had to abandon the Tour de Suisse on a bad fall. A setback that prevented him from perfecting his preparation for the Tour. We have the answer with his 4th place at the top on Thursday, 1'44 '' of the winner. "I felt very good, confirms the winner of the 2018 Tour. When Movistar drove with Valverde, it was tough. I did not know what it was going to give in the last climb. "
At 800m from the finish line, in pursuit of Alaphilippe, he was able to release his teammate and main competitor Egan Bernal, taking nine seconds to pass. The Colombian (12th of 1'53 '' stage) probably expects explanations at very high altitude and the repetition of climbs in the Pyrenees to get out of the woods. Nothing presses since it is comfortably stalled to the general (6th to 53 '').
Quintana and Landa back to back
The Movistar team performed a demonstration of collective power. World champion Alejandro Valverde, Mikel Landa (10th Thursday) and Nairo Quintana (7th) set the pace of hell at the top of the pack to melt the day's breakaways. "The first day of mountain is always complicated, it takes time for the legs to adapt," said Colombian Nairo Quintana. It was difficult to make differences, everyone is still very fresh. It will be necessary to wait for other slopes so that a clear hierarchy emerges between the Colombian and the Spaniard (respectively 16th and 17th in the general).
Fuglsang reassures himself
Caught in a fall during the first stage in Brussels, the Dane of the Astana team has tested himself. And the winner of the last Liège-Bastogne-Liège can feel refreshed. Jakob Fuglsang passed the test. "I can be pretty happy: I was there until the end. I was perhaps a little less well placed when Alaphilippe went there, but he attacked very hard and I had trouble on the gravel (Note: the last mile section of the stage). It was a super hard final, which does not normally go well, so it's not bad. "
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Nibali and Kruijswijk in doubt
Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) could not catch the train of the favorites and probably did not intend to drop as much ground (35 '' on Thomas). As for Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), if the Board was worth test, it is clearly failed. The Messina Shark has not been clinched in the general rankings, but it has exposed the limits of the moment.