© ASO / Pauline Ballet

Tour de France: duel at the top between Vingegaard and Pogacar

A thrilling duel. An intense struggle. The first week of the Tour de France delivered a merciless battle between Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogacar. The two favorites of this 110th edition put on an intense show full of twists and turns. And if the Dane is in yellow on the rest day in Clermont Ferrand, his Slovenian rival has not given up yet. Sunday, on the slopes of Puy de Dôme, the leader of UAE Team Emirates still grabbed a few seconds… which could prove to be precious on the Champs-Élysées in 15 days. There are no small profits at this Tour de France. Especially when there is barely a hair’s width between first and second. Now the Slovenian is 17 seconds behind the defending champion.

“It’s not a real victory… but a small one anyway,” ‘Pogi’ summed up with a smile.

The week was also marked by the stranglehold that Jasper Philipsen has had on the sprints. He’s already won three stages and is on track to secure the green jersey as the best sprinter on the Champs-Élysées.

Stages won by: A. Yates (UAE Team Emirates), Lafay (Cofidis), Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe), Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates), Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Pedersen (Lidl-Trek), Woods (Israel-Premier Tech).


Giro d’Italia Donne: Van Vleuten elevates her farewell tour

The Dutch rider Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) assuredly won her fourth Giro, with the final two stages taking place in Sardinia. This time she won ahead of the Frenchwoman Juliette Labous (Team DSM-Firmenich).

At 40, Van Vleuten added an eighth Grand Tour overall victory to her palmarès, her fourth at the Giro d’Italia, after winning already in 2018, 2019 and 2022.

Following her victory at the Vuelta a España in May, Van Vleuten, who will retire at the end of this season, will have the opportunity to achieve the same hat-trick as she did in 2022. Now all she needs to do is win the Tour de France, which begins in two weeks (July 23- July 30) in Clermont-Ferrand.

“Winning a stage race is always something very special,” Van Vleuten exclaimed. “And an achievement like this is always done with a whole team. I’ve won quite a few throughout my career. It was my second overall victory in the Giro with Movistar. Last year we had a great party with the team after my win, and we’re going to do the same today. My next goal will be the Tour de France. I will stay in Italy for the moment and rest for a few days to recharge the batteries. Now I’ve won the Giro d’Italia four times. My greatest victory? All four were beautiful, but the first had something special. And I learned to love this country because it’s so nice to race here.”

Behind the Dutchwoman, who took the pink jersey on the second stage, the Frenchwoman Juliette Labous (Team DSM-Firmenich) posted the best result of her career at a Grand Tour with a second place overall, at 3 min 56 behind Van Vleuten.

The 24-year-old rider is the first tricolor to climb on the final podium of the “Giro Donne”, the Italian name of the race, since Pauline Ferrand-Prévot in 2014 (2nd).

The results: 1. Van Vleuten (Movistar) ; 2. Labous (Team dsm-firmenich) ; 3. Realini (Lidl-Trek)…

Stages won by: Van Vleuten (Movistar), Van Vleuten (Movistar), Longo Borghini (Lidl-Trek), Niedermaier (Canyon/Sram Racing), Van Vleuten (Movistar), Van Vleuten (Movistar), Vas (Team SD Worx), Consonni (UAE Team ADQ). 


Upcoming races:

Until 23 July: Tour de France, https://www.letour.fr/fr/