Pidcock wins on Alpe d'Huez

14 Jul 2022

Pidcock wins on Alpe d'Huez

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Tour de France - Stage 12 » Briançon › L'Alpe d'Huez, 165.1km

Tom Pidcock put in a ride for the ages as he claimed victory atop Alpe d'Huez on stage 12 of the Tour de France.

The young Brit put in a virtuoso performance of daring descending and climbing prowess to win solo from the breakaway on cycling's most famous climb.

The Grenadier became the youngest rider to win on Alpe d'Huez at the Tour de France, taking his first Grand Tour stage win by 48 seconds.

Launching clear of the peloton on the descent off the Col du Galibier, Pidcock showed supreme bike-handling skills to bridge across to the breakaway. On the final climb he pushed clear of his counterparts by attacking early and finally breaking the will of Louis Meintjes (Intermarche Wanty Gobert).

The GC battle raged behind, with Geraint Thomas putting in a measured ride to move up to third overall. The Welshman was able to reel in attacks from Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates), and finished on the wheel of the Slovenian and race leader Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma).

Thomas now sits 2:26 off the yellow jersey, while Adam Yates limited his losses well to climb back to fifth overall (+3:44). Pidcock's breakaway heroics saw him elevated back to eighth place on the GC (+7:39).
Photo: A.S.O./Pauline Ballet

Photo: A.S.O./Pauline Ballet

Reaction

- Tom Pidcock

"A stage win in my first Tour, it’s not bad. I guess it’s made my Tour de France so far, even if nothing else happens and I get dropped every day. 
 
"The idea was to get in the break. I lost enough time yesterday that hopefully I’d be given freedom. If I’d gone up the Galibier maybe I wouldn’t have got away, but on the descent maybe Jumbo don’t want to risk chasing me. Also the gap was small enough to go across so it worked out perfectly in the end.
 
"That was certainly one of my best experiences in cycling. That was unreal. When you’re literally slaloming through people’s flags, fists and god knows what else! You cannot experience that anywhere else, in anything, other than Alpe d’Huez in the Tour de France."

- Geraint Thomas

"It's great to see [Tom] do well and the second Brit to win up here (in the Tour) – it’s a nice accolade to have. It’s fantastic for him. He’s a super talent and he’s been riding really well. He wasn’t great yesterday but he had the opportunity to go in the move today. Looking at the guys in the break we were confident he could do something. 
 
"It was the plan from the start. Jumbo were covering him quite a bit and Roglic was following him. We just waited, a few guys went on the descent so we just told him to go. (Wout) Van Aert was happy to let him go and they were riding slow to let the gap grow out which was great for us. We were confident he was the best rider in that break.
 
"I’m feeling good. I was just trying to not get carried away when they were jumping, ride a pace and not accelerate too much. I felt good, I felt like I could have gone in that sprint but unfortunately I should have got the elbows out a bit more."
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