Stage13-2

Tour de France 2020 – Week 2

As the Tour de France enters its second rest day, it’s time for us to recap the second week. The first week of the 2020 Tour de France was already interesting and exciting.

Stage 13 Tour de France 2020 breakaway group
No less than three Germans were able to score good results from a breakaway group on stage 13 © A.S.O./Pauline Ballet

With a Tour abandonment related to Cororna infections not unlikely, riders aren’t holding much back for the final week.

Stage 10 – In the battle for green

After the rest day last Monday, the new week started with a flat stage. Shortly after the start, two escapees, the Swiss Stefan Küng and Michael Schär, broke away. But it didn’t stay that way for long. Tense wind conditions and fear of a windward edge situation kept the pace of the peloton high. In the tense situation there were some cracks and crashes in the peloton. However, the wind speeds were not sufficient to cause significant damage. So at least all sprinters as well as the classification riders reached the stage finish at the same time.

There it was the sprint train of the Sunweb team that dictated the action until the last kilometer. The stage win, however, went to Sam Bennett. It was the first Tour stage win for the Irishman and he was visibly moved in the interview afterwards. He also reclaimed the green jersey from rival Sagan.

Sam Bennett, winner 10th stage Tour de France 2020
© A.S.O./Pauline Ballet

From the German point of view, Andre Greipel seems to be fit again, after he was a bit weak recently. For the first time at this tour he took part in the sprint race and finished 6th.

  • Yellow jersey: Primoz Roglic
  • Green jersey: Sam Bennet
  • Mountain jersey: Benoit Cosnefroy
  • White jersey: Egan Bernal
  • Team classification: Movistar Team
  • Most combative rider: Stefan Küng

Stage 11 – Stress in the sprint

With only a few metres in altitude and a small fourth category climb, the eleventh stage of the 2020 Tour de France was again a day for the sprinters. But 6 kilometers before the finish Lukas Pöstlberger attacked again. With Bob Jungels and Kasper Asgreen on his back wheel, it looked like the three of them might be able to cross the finish line with a small lead. But 3.5 kilometres later they were caught.

Peter Sagan, Tour de France 2020
© A.S.O./Alex Broadway

Drama and excitement in the sprint that followed. In a picture book finish Sagan, Bennett, Van Aert and Ewan come to the finish line almost at the same time. Caleb Ewan had good timing and was the fastest again today – his second stage win. For a jostle against Van Aert, stage runner-up Peter Sagan was later demoted in the classification and penalized with a points deduction in the fight for the green jersey. After multiple viewings of the video footage, we think wrongly. You can like Sagan or not, but he’s buying himself space in this situation to avoid a crash like Fabio Jakobsen did in the Tour of Poland. Sprinters have to decide their actions in fractions of a second and jostling like this is part of sprinting.

  • Yellow jersey: Primoz Roglic
  • Green jersey: Sam Bennet
  • Mountain jersey: Benoit Cosnefroy
  • White jersey: Egan Bernal
  • Team classification: Movistar Team
  • Most combative driver: Matthieu Ladagnous

Stage 12 – The longest day

The longest Tour stage of the year was on today. A wavy profile straight towards the finish line promised a lot of excitement. A good 40 kilometres before the finish, the race for the stage win was then opened. Numerous riders attacked on the Cote de la Croix du Pey, among them stage winner Julian Alaphilippe, Marc Hirschi and German Max Schachmann.

Marc Hirschi with his first professional victory at the Tour de France
© A.S.O./Alex Broadway

Marc Hirschi, who had already been second and third in stages of this Tour, was finally able to break away with a 28-kilometer solo. Disagreements among the chasers made it difficult to catch up and so the young Swiss won.

  • Yellow jersey: Primoz Roglic
  • Green jersey: Sam Bennet
  • Mountain jersey: Benoit Cosnefroy
  • White jersey: Egan Bernal
  • Team classification: Movistar Team
  • Most combative driver: Marc Hirschi

Stage 13 – Kämna takes a gamble

After two flat stages and the rather undulating profile of the previous day’s stage, the 13th stage led over many mountains into the Massif Central. Many riders and teams were interested in a stage win and so a big escape group with the three Germans Schachmann, Kämna and Geschke broke away. From the breakaway group it was one of three Education First riders, Neilsson Powless, who broke away. Max Schachmann closed the gap shortly after and was even able to attack over the young American. Daniel Martinez (EF Pro Cycling), who had won the Criterium Dauphine after Primoz Roglic’s crash, then tried to catch Schachmann again, but couldn’t get rid of Lennard Kämna. With 1.5 kilometers to go, the three were finally riding together, and the stage win would be decided between them. The Bora riders were clearly favored in the majority, but Schachmann was not able to keep up with the tightening of the pace for long. Lennard Kämna twitches a bit too early in the finish sprint and therefore unfortunately only finishes second. Max Schachmann finished third, Simon Geschke seventh. Still, a strong performance from the Germans and maybe they will get another chance on one of the upcoming stages.

Max Schachmann, Bora-hansgrohe fights for a stage win
© A.S.O./Pauline Ballet

In the fight for yellow the Slovenians got serious. Roglic and Pogacar kept the pace incredibly high on the final climb, so that especially last year’s winner Egan Bernal lost a lot of time. With this he loses the white jersey for the best young rider.

After a crash during the stage and a concussion that was diagnosed later, Romain Bardet has to leave the Tour after this stage.

  • Yellow jersey: Primoz Roglic
  • Green jersey: Sam Bennet
  • Mountain jersey: Benoit Cosnefroy
  • White jersey: Tadej Pogacar
  • Team classification: EF Pro Cycling
  • Most combative driver: Max Schachmann

Stage 14 – Sagan continues to fight

After his jostling against Wout van Aert and the subsequent penalty, it will be difficult for Peter Sagan to win the green jersey. Sam Bennett currently has a solid lead. But with the abandonment of Emanuel Buchmann’s overall ambitions, Sagan can now rely on the support of the entire Bora team, Band of Brothers.

Today he attacked together with Max Schachmann and Daniel Oss on the climb before the intermediate sprint. Even though Sam Bennett tried to keep up, the pace at the wave was just a little too fast for the thoroughbred sprinter. In the further course of the stage Lukas Pöstlberger, Lennard Kämna and also Emanuel Buchmann committed themselves to the pace work. So Bora managed to distance some sprinters again, including Sam Bennett. If the German team continues to work like this and not only robs the other sprinters of energy but also doesn’t give them the chance to collect points in intermediate sprints, Peter Sagan might come to Paris in green after all.

Bora-hansgrohe controls the 2020 Tour de France race in the fight for the green jersey
© A.S.O./Alex Broadway

The finale of this stage was hard. Two fourth category climbs in the last ten kilometres promised pure excitement. There were some attacks, also once again by Lennard Kämna, but first to arrive was Soren Kragh Andersen just ahead of a reduced peloton around Peter Sagan. Finishing fourth, he certainly secured fewer points than he had hoped.

  • Yellow jersey: Primoz Roglic
  • Green jersey: Sam Bennet
  • Mountain jersey: Benoit Cosnefroy
  • White jersey: Tadej Pogacar
  • Team classification: EF Pro Cycling
  • Most combative rider: Stefan Küng

Stage 15 – INEOS goes under

Stage 15 leads up to the mountain finish on the Grand Colombier. But before that the riders had to master two mountains of the first category.

Before that, however, there was a messy scene. A second of carelessness by Bob Jungels and Sergio Higuita causes a crash for the Colombian who ends the Tour as a result. In our opinion, it is not right to blame a driver for this, which is why we will leave it at that at this point. Bob Jungels later crashes himself because a careless ambulance overtakes him and hits him with the side mirror.

Wout van Aert proves his quality on the mountain
Wout van Aert leaves some of the best mountain riders standing © A.S.O./Pauline Ballet

Also in this stage a breakaway group tried to win the stage, with Simon Geschke among them. But the team of the overall leader had something against it and kept the gap small. On the final climb there was a surprise, when Wout van Aert was doing the pace work for his leader, Egan Bernal had to let go early. You wouldn’t have expected that from Team Sky/Ineos, which has dominated the Tour since Bradley Wiggins won. But it’s Team Jumbo’s overall performance that makes the difference today, as co-leader Tom Dumoulin also contributes with a long lead. On the way to the finish line, however, Tadej Pogacar not only kept up the pace but also won the stage in the final meters.

  • Yellow jersey: Primoz Roglic
  • Green jersey: Sam Bennet
  • Mountain jersey: Benoit Cosnefroy
  • White jersey: Tadej Pogacar
  • Team classification: Movistar Team
  • Most combative rider: Pierre Rolland

Conclusion of the second week

The second week was probably quite enjoyable for all German viewers. Andre Greipel seems to have put the first week’s injuries behind him and with a bit of luck can hope for a good result in Paris. Lennard Kämna, Max Schachmann and Simon Geschke are very present. Whether in breakaway groups, at the head of the peloton or in the stage finale. Even though it was not yet enough for a German victory, we remain confident.

Marc Hirschi’s stage win on Thursday was probably one of the highlights from a sporting point of view. After having been very close twice before, he now deservedly takes his first professional victory and makes a good impression.

Stefan Küng also cuts a good figure. The European time trial champion was part of several breakaway groups and wore the red back number twice.

The battle for the jerseys remains tight. Especially since Tadej Pogacar and Primoz Roglic are both good time trialists, there could be changes in the classification even on the last day. Egan Bernal, 8:25 down, may have lost his chance at a second Tour win.

Team INEOS - Bernal, Kwiatkowski and Castroviejo at the Grand Colombier during the 2020 Tour de France stage 15.
Noble helper Kwiatkowski does damage limitation for Team INEOS © A.S.O./Alex Broadway

Sam Bennett is currently fighting on all climbs against the German team around Peter Sagan who wants to take the green jersey from him. Deceuninck-Quick-Step will make the rest of the team available to him. Who will lose out in Paris and who will triumph and rejoice remains to be seen.

This tour is not over yet for Benoit Cosnefroy either. Currently wearing the jersey of the best rider in the mountains – which often rewards a diligent breakaway – he is struggling over the climbs in the group. Pogacar, Roglic, Hirschi and Peters are currently only 5 points apart and are all doing well in the mountains. It is not unlikely that one of the four will wear the jersey on the last day of the Tour.

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