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Tour de France. Stage 16. Top 10 for Michael Valgren at first Pyrenees stage

At the first mountain stage in the Pyrenees, Michael Valgren finished seventh, behind winner Julian Alaphilippe. Valgren was part of the initial breakaway group of 47 riders, and was able to stay in a strongly reduced group until the final climb. In the peloton, Jakob Fuglsang attacked on this final climb together with teammate Jesper Hansen, but they didn’t succeed in getting clear. Because of the finish in the peloton today, Fuglsang is still ninth in the general classification. 

- I just tried it again today and I hoped that I could stay in the leading group on the final climb, but it was a very hard day and at the end my legs were not good enough to climb with the best. It took very long for the breakaway was created and once we were off I tried to follow the guys until the end. I was fighting for it and I did everything I could do, but this was the maximum result for today.  – told Michael Valgren.

Directly after the second rest day in the Tour de France, the peloton faced a 218-kilometer-long mountain stage in the Pyrenees, from Carcassonne to Bagneres-de-Luchon. After several attacks and a short neutralisation due to a protest, the breakaway group of 47 riders took off. Michael Valgren and Magnus Cort, winner of stage 15, were part of this group, that reduced quickly on the first climbs of the stage.

Before the final climb, Michael Valgren was able to return in the leading group. On this final climb, he attacked, but he didn’t get the space for a spectacular solo. Instead, shortly after he got dropped by the pure climbers of the break. After the climb, Valgren had a fast descent into Bagneres-de-Luchon, but he was not able to return, finishing seventh. Julian Alaphilippe took his second stage win of this year’s Tour de France.

No changes in the general classification at the end of stage 16, but Jakob Fuglsang tried to gain time on the final climb, he attacked together with teammate Jesper Hansen. They got caught before the end of the climb and finished in the peloton.

- It slowed down in the peloton, so then I decided to go for an attack as I felt quite good today. The rest day was a good day for me, as I felt better today than the day before the rest day. But the group behind Jesper Hansen and me closed the gap, so I decided to just stay in the group. That wasn’t that easy, as there was another attack in the final, but at the end it I managed to stay in this group until the finish. I’m looking forward to tomorrow, as it’s hard to predict what will happen with this ‘grid start’ and the short stage. But for sure it will be a hard day tomorrow and we will see what we can do.– said Jakob Fuglsang.

Tomorrow will be the shortest and maybe the hardest stage of the Tour de France, as the riders will take off for a stage of 65 kilometers with two climbs of the 1st category and a finish on the Col du Portet (HC). An interesting day for the GC is expected!


Photo credit: Bettiniphoto

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