A huge team effort means Fabio Jakobsen finishes inside the time limit after a gruelling stage in the Pyrenees.
For the second day running, Julian Alaphilippe went up the road at the Grande Boucle, this time in a breakaway that unlike the one of Wednesday took only a couple of minutes to form. The multiple Tour de France stage winner was joined by Soudal Quick-Step teammate Kasper Asgreen, who buried himself on the first real climb of the day, Col d’Aubisque, to help them take their gap to four minutes.
On the mythical Col du Tourmalet, which he crested first five years ago, Alaphilippe launched a powerful attack with twelve kilometers left to the top, but the others reacted and the group remained as one. Things changed the moment the yellow jersey favourites began launching some jabs at one another, basically putting an end to the escapees’ hopes. In the end, from the small group that emerged there, Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) took the victory atop Cauterets, which hosted a Tour de France finish for just the fifth time in history.
Escorted by Tim Declercq, Dries Devenyns, and Michael Mørkøv – who were all outstanding in the way the paced and protected him throughout the entire stage – Fabio Jakobsen concluded this last day in the Pyrenees exhausted, but happy, as he made it within the time cut, overcoming the many difficulties of the stage and the pain that keeps bothering him since the stage four crash.
“From the first climb I began feeling that the legs were so sore and stiff that I just couldn’t follow the pace, but the more we got into the race, the better I felt. Getting home inside the time limit it’s thanks to Dries, Tim, Yves and Michael. They stayed with me on the climbs, helped me also in the downhills, and it’s thanks to them that I’m here. I just hope that day by day I will feel better. The first two mountain stages are now out of the way and we’ll see on Friday how I am, on what should be another opportunity for the sprinters”, Fabio explained at the finish.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele / Getty Images