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Tour de France. Stage 17. Combative ride of Tanel Kangert, Jakob Fuglsang now 10th in GC

In the 65-kilometer-long mountain stage, it was Tanel Kangert who attacked right from the start, but got caught by stage winner Nairo Quintana with only 8 kilometer to go. Kangert was the most combative rider of the day and will wear the red bib numbers tomorrow. Behind Kangert, Jakob Fuglsang was fighting for a good result in the general classification. At the end of the day he dropped one place in the GC, he is now tenth. Geraint Thomas is still the leader, wearing the yellow jersey.

- I attacked right from the start and was ready to ride this stage like a time trial. After being alone on the first climb, I got some company on the second one, but on the final climb I was on my own again. I tried to win, so this award for the most combative rider feels more like I’m the ‘lucky loser’. I can be happy with my race, as I was riding a controlled pace, but the final climb was just too long for me. Especially because the GC riders were coming from behind. I tried it, but I didn’t get the result where I was looking for. – Tanel Kangert.

An interesting stage today, a mountain stage of 65 kilometer from Bagneres-de-Luchon to Saint-Lary-Soulan, with a unique grid start. At the end, this start didn’t make any difference for the race, as Tanel Kangert didn’t start in the first lines, but was still one of the first attackers. He got company of several riders after being the lonely leader on the first climb of the day.

On the second climb he got company of Julian Alaphilippe, together they climbed to the second GPM. But at the third and final climb, Kangert was on his own again, riding a steady pace. But with an explosive group of GC riders behind him, he got caught with 8 kilometers to go. The award for being the most combative rider awas the only result for Tanel Kangert’s impressive attack.

In the general classification, Jakob Fuglsang was not able to move up or to defend his current position, as Daniel Martin was one of the attackers on the final climb. Fuglsang had to let the group of GC favorites go during the final part of the race. He got assisted by Jesper Hansen and Omar Fraile, who dropped from the chasing group, towards today’s finish.

- I felt good until they really opened the gas on the final climb. I tried to ride my own pace, but all in all the other where just stronger today. – Jakob Fuglsang. 

After these two stages in the Pyrenees, the riders will have a flatter day tomorrow, riding from Trie-sur-Baise to Pau in 171 kilometers. Only two categorized climbs (4th cat.), but with the second one in the final 20 kilometer.



Photo credit: Bettiniphoto

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