GC men safe after sprint stages

08 Sep 2020

GC men safe after sprint stages

Tour de France - Stage 10 » île d'Oléron (Le Château-d'Oléron) › île de Ré (Saint-Martin-de-Ré), 168.5km Tirreno-Adriatico - Stage 2 » Camaiore › Follonica, 201km

Egan Bernal came through a tricky and stressful 10th stage at the Tour de France to retain his second place overall.

The Colombian was well protected on a flat but testing day that saw a constant threat from winds and narrow roads. The INEOS Grenadiers worked hard in a lengthy battle for position, as well as pushing the pace on some exposed sections.

Michal Kwiatkowski and Luke Rowe helped shepherd Bernal through a final crosswind section with 20km to go, while Richard Carapaz was able to recover well after being held up by a crash.

Bernal remains 21 seconds back on race leader Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), with Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) winning the stage. 

- Egan Bernal

"We all knew it was going to be a stressful day, we knew there would be wind and there could be splits, so it was fast all day, with a lot of nerves and a lot of stress. It was mostly nerves, because in the end there wasn’t so much wind but everyone wanted to be up front. Fortunately, none of our riders crashed."

Tour de France overall standings:

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 42:15:23
2. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) +21"
3. Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) +28"
4. Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) +30"
5. Nairo Quintana (Arkea Samsic) +32"
15. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) +3:42"

Tuesday also saw the second stage of Tirreno-Adriatico, with a more straightforward day leading into a sprint finish, won again by Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe).

Geraint Thomas crossed the line in 22nd, safe amongst the pack to keep his strong early position ahead of the climbs to come.

The climbing action is expected to pick up in the coming days, starting with Wednesday's third stage.

- Geraint Thomas

"It's nice to be back in the groove now with the boys. After a couple of stages you kind of find that rhythm again. It's been quite a while since I did bunch sprints like that - trying to stay out of trouble. It's not like you need reminding, but just getting used to that stress again. Our boys rode really well, and obviously last man with (Filippo) Ganna - he turns on the turbo and just rides until 3km to go. You can't ask for any more really.

"Physically [stage 3] is not really a big GC day on paper. It's not a mountaintop and the climb isn't super hard. But it's definitely a racing course and a tricky final - a lot can happen. There's a steep climb with 8km to go. It's similar to the stage I won here a few years ago."