Carapaz strengthens grip on podium

15 Jul 2021

Carapaz strengthens grip on podium

Related riders

Tour de France - Stage 18 » Pau › Luz Ardiden, 129.7km

Richard Carapaz further solidified his podium position at the Tour de France with a strong third place on stage 18.
 
The Ecuadorian once again found himself in a summit finish shootout with his nearest GC rivals, crossing the line behind stage victor Tadej Pogacar and second-placed Jonas Vingegaard atop Luz Ardiden. 
 
The result saw Carapaz firm up his third place, now 2:27 ahead of fourth placed Ben O’Connor. The Grenadier still sits just six seconds back on Vingegaard, with the pair locked together on the two Pyrenean summit finishes.
 
With a sprint stage expected on Friday, the final GC battle looks set to be Saturday’s time trial to decide the finishing order in Paris.
 
The Grenadiers backed their leader on the final day in the mountains, with Dylan van Baarle putting in a massive turn to take the team over the famous Col du Tourmalet. The Dutchman still wasn’t done as he took up the early running on Luz Ardiden. Michal Kwiatkowski took over, before Tao Geoghegan Hart dug deep to pace the peloton further up the climb.
 
When UAE Emirates hit the front, Jonathan Castroviejo was there to help position Carapaz, before the contenders went toe to toe one final time in the mountains. Pogacar made his accelerations with 3.3km to go, splitting the race apart on route to a third stage victory.
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Reaction

- Richard Carapaz

"I’m very happy after the incredible effort from the team. Our goal was to try to win the stage and we tried until the end. We knew that our rivals were stronger and we are pretty happy with the result we achieved. There was nothing to lose for us.
 
"There are two days left and anything can happen but I think the podium is almost decided. It has been a hard stage. We rode really fast, and the result was good because we were in the fight for the stage win."
Overall standings:

1. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 75:00:02
2. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) +5:45"
3. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) +5:51"
4. Ben O'Connor (AG2R Citroen) +8:18"
5. Wilco Kelderman (Bora-Hansgrohe) +8:50"