Van Aert won the sprint, another of Poulidor's adopted grandchildren, but this was, perhaps, the least important news of a stupid day that changed the Tour.
Landa crosses the delayed goal and throws the drum in the goal, with rage. Nairo crosses her ahead and smiles. Their destinies and their Tours walked together, and in less than a second they separated definitively. Landa went to the ground and Nairo survived. There were 19.3 kilometers left for Albi, the goal of a stage in which the wind, which always arrives, had already done the main job. Before Landa, who lost 2m 9s and is already 4m 15s behind the leader Alaphilippe in the general, they had already lost their hopes of winning the Tour Pinot, the most fit favorite, Fuglsang, Urán and Porte. The four lost 1m 40s. The four of them had been surprised by the range organized by Ineos, Deceuninck and Movistar.
To Landa, no.
Landa finds reasons every day not to stop believing in fatality.
This is the classification
|one||FRA Julian Alaphilippe||43h 27:15|
|two||GBR Geraint Thomas||+ 01:12|
|3||CABBAGE Egan Bernal||+ 01:16|
|4||NED Steven Kruijswijk||+ 01:27|
|5||GER Emanuel Buchmann||+ 01:45|
|6||ESP Enric Mas||+ 01:46|
|7||GBR Adam Yates||+ 01:47|
|8||CABBAGE Nairo Quintana||+ 02:04|
|9||IRL Dan Martin||+ 02:09|
|10||ITA Giulio Ciccone||+ 02:32|
|one||BEL Tim Wellens||43|
|two||BEL Thomas de Gendt||37|
|3||ITA Giulio Ciccone||30|
|4||BEL Xandro Meurisse||27|
|5||ERI Natnael Berhane||twenty|
|6||BEL Dylan Teuns||13|
|7||USES Ben King||13|
|8||BEL Tiesj Benoot||12|
|9||RSA Daryl Impey||10|
|10||THE T Tom Skujins||9|
|one||SVK Peter Sagan||229|
|two||AUS Michael Matthews||167|
|3||ITA Elia Viviani||153|
|4||ITA Sonny Colbrelli||151|
|5||BEL Jasper Stuyven||105|
|6||ITA Matteo Trentin||101|
|7||AUS Caleb Ewan||98|
|8||BEL Greg Van Avermaet||94|
|9||FRA Julian Alaphilippe||75|
|10||NED Dylan Groenewegen||66|
|one||ESP MOVISTAR TEAM||130h 45:20|
|two||USES TREK SEGAFREDO||+ 01:30|
|3||GER BORA HANSGROHE||+ 14:59|
|4||AUS MITCHELTON – SCOTT||+ 15:31|
|5||FRA AG2R LA MONDIALE||+ 18:56|
|6||FRA GROUPAMA – FDJ||+ 19:04|
|7||NED TEAM JUMBO – VISMA||+ 19:14|
|8||UAE UAE TEAM EMIRATES||+ 23:33|
|9||GBR TEAM INEOS||+25:53|
|10||USES EF EDUCATION FIRST||+ 32:27|
Arrived the best ones to the place called Taïx out of breath and happy, with the happiness that seeks to know that great harm is being done to important rivals, to Mikel Landa, unwittingly knocks down the French champion, Warren Barguil, a bolus that was unbalanced by touching its front wheel with the rear of Alaphilippe. The squad, rather the group in front, was pure chaos, nerves and uncontrolled speed. If he had not had Landa on the left, protected from the wind but not from the rivals, Barguil would have gone to the ground and there he would have stayed, but Landa passed by. Barguil leans to the left and hits Landa, the last bolus of the series: to his left, where he lands, there are only terrified fans on which he falls, his frenzy, neutralized, his heart, depressed and his furious spirit, he fell convinced that Barguil knocked him down. "But we have seen the images with the curators," says José Luis Arrieta, the director of Movistar, "and it is appreciated that it was an accident. Nobody was to blame, only fatality. "
"Everyone falls down one day from Tour, but Mikel's falls always have consequences," says fatalist Eusebio Unzue, the Movistar boss, who already experienced similar circumstances on the last Tour when, after having overcome his corridors all the stages Dangerous on the road to Roubaix, Landa fell, and forgot the race, and in the last turn, when the day of Carapaz's attack on Frascati, Landa also fell and lost time. "And, look, Thomas fell the other day, and he did not lose a second."
The frustration increases because Albi's path, precisely, of his warrior bishops, his scorched Cathars, his generous Tarn and his falsely humble brick cathedral, the Movistar had felt the main actor of the day.
In Saint Flour, when they prepare to leave the corridors, the breeze blows so fresh that people look for the sun, and even it seems that it cleans the heads of a tired squad and even smiles Arrieta, a man who seems to always carry the weight of injustices never repaired. "I would be very surprised if the peloton was not cut. It will blow wind, north-northwest, and when the peloton blows it will be very tired, because the stage is very hard, "he says, and he does not say it with fear, as Spanish directors atavistly spoke when fanning themselves, but hopeful. "We will be prepared." At his side, Txente García Acosta, his technical partner, is already riding in the car to go forward. "I will not need to report anything," he says. "Arrieta has already come to recognize the stage and knows all the way well and you know where the time will be."
They seem more the preparations of a secret blow than a stage tactic a day more of the endless descent of the Tour towards the mountains that never arrive. But it is not so secret. Many already know and when they approach the Graummont roundabout, they must take the left to change direction and continue on the D988, send their leaders forward, to take positions. Valverde brings with him Landa and Nairo, and Erviti, Oliveira and Amador, the warriors of the wind; the Ineos advance theirs and the specialists of the Deceuninck envelop Alaphilippe and Enric Mas. Everyone wants to be, but the capacity is limited and the party very exclusive.
The party begins when the wind changes. Who can not pass to head is with the door closed. All those who can relieve unrestrained. The platoon's cut is inevitable. Some 50 go by, no more. Pinot, Urán and Fuglsang not only run out of space, but also with disorganized teams, and they exhaust themselves in 20 kilometers of useless pursuit in which they get close to a dozen seconds. The rope was cut then, and nobody could splice it.
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