- - Tour de France 2023 Stage 17

Tour de France 2023 Stage 17

photo credits @ ASO

Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) all but sealed the overall victory in this year’s Tour de France, after the Dutch rider vanquished Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) in today’s stage 17, as the Slovenian rider cracked along the slopes of the Col de la Loze, conceding more than seven and a half minutes to the defending champion.

Meanwhile, the stage glory went to Felix Gall (AG2R Citroën), after the Austrian rider proved the strongest from the day’s 34-man breakaway, leaving the likes of Simon Yates (Jayco-AlUla), Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious) and David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) behind 7 kilometers from the summit, followed by a 4-kilometer descent to Courchevel.

Indeed, after striking out from a four-man leading group along the Col de la Loze, Gall maintained his lead on the steep 24% sections near the summit, before keeping his nerve on the fast, twisting descent to the ski resort below.

Gall crossed the line 34 seconds ahead of Simon Yates (Jayco-AlUla), who rose three places into fifth in the new-look general classification, while Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious) edged clear of Vingegaard on the final ramp to take third place and rise to sixth.

Vingegaard is now 7:35 clear of Pogačar at the top of the standings, with Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) stealing a march over Carlos Rodriguez (Ineos Grenadiers) in the fight for the final spot on the podium.

Race Highlights

A small group containing Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost), KOM leader Giulio Ciccone (Lidl-Trek), Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek), Luka Mezgec (Team Jayco AlUla) and Jonas Gregaard (Uno-X Pro Cycling) jettisoned the peloton early on, with Julian Alaphilippe and a dozen other riders later bridging their way to the quintet on the day’s first climb of the Col des Saisies.

Meanwhile, Pogačar clipped a wheel on the climb and toppled to his left, but he was able to rejoin the group.

As Jumbo-Visma was driving the pace, several riders like Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) and Powless got dropped, while Ciccone turned the screw by jumping clear to take the full mountain points atop the Col des Saisies.

While out front, Rodriguez and Gaudu came under pressure in the yellow jersey group, with Alaphilippe pushing the pace on the descent of the climb to claim the intermediate sprint in Beaufort.

Alaphilippe continued at the front on the Cormet de Roselend, alter pushing ahead with Ciccone and the latter’s Lidl-Trek teammate Matthias Skjelmose, Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious), Ben O’Connor (Ag2r-Citröen) Chris Harper (Jayco-AlUla) and others, with Thibaut Pinot (Groupama FDJ), Rigoberto Uran (EF Education EasyPost), Simon Yates making their way across as well, swelling the group up to a massive 33 riders.

Ciccone again led over the summit to further strengthen his grip on the KOM jersey, and likewise on the Côte de Longefoy, while Jumbo-Visma had dialed back on its chase and crested the summit slightly over 3:00 back, with all riders then beginning the twisting, turning descent

The breakaway group was still holding onto a 2:50 advantage at the start of the Col de la Loze, with Ciccone losing contact early on.


Meanwhile, Pogačar cracked along the climb, losing contact with the Vingegaard group, while out front, Gall had initiated his winning attack, quickly putting 30 seconds between him Simon Yates and Rafal Majka (UAE Team Emirates).

Tiesj Benoot put in a big turn at the front for Vingegaard, drawing him clear of the other riders, with the Dane tearing up the climb, but not without losing a few seconds when he was blocked by a stalled motorcycle and some official ASO cars.

Further back, Pogačar had cracked completely, instructing Adam Yates to go ahead in order to try to salvage a podium place for the team, while Yates’ twin brother had dropped Majka and was chasing hard.

Back up front, Gall dug deep on the steepest slopes, later crossing the summit 17 seconds ahead of the British rider.

At the same time, Vingegaard had opened up a staggering gap of 5:45 over Pogačar, later catching Bilbao and Gaudu, before hurling down the descent with them.

In the meantime, Yates had Gall in his sights along the steep ramp to the finish, but he lost his momentum during the final few hundred meters.

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