Europe

Dane Mads Pedersen wins stage 13, Vingaard keeps the lead

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Mads Pedersen became the third Dane to win a stage in this year’s Tour de France when a breakout group beat the peloton in Saint-Etienne in a searing race through the Rhone Valley on Friday as riders were preparing for temperatures of up to 40 degrees. This weekend.

His compatriot Jonas Vingaard retained the overall lead, which he won by winning stage 11, while Magnus Cort Nielsen won stage 10 of a Tour de France that started with three days in Denmark.

A bunch sprint was expected on this 193km Stage 13 at the foot of the Alps, but as the heaviest riders, who dominate the sprints, began to struggle in the scorching temperatures, a break of seven riders began to dream of a stage win. .

Australian sprinter Caleb Ewan fell when he appeared to lose concentration and braked hard into a corner, tumbling alone near the front of the pack.

Quick-Step sprinter Fabio Jakobsen was also dropped as the peloton continued the breakout and with no collective will to escape, the peloton then abandoned the match 25km from Saint-Etienne.

Pedersen is clearly a man for extremes as he won the 2019 World Championship road race in freezing Yorkshire rain.

On Friday, he battled a heat wave with equal momentum, whipping rivals Hugo Houle and Fred Wright down the home stretch.

“It was a bit of a gamble,” Pedersen, 26, said after his first-ever Grand Tour victory.

“I had a few good days in the mountains, my legs felt good, so when it came to the sprint, I had had enough.”

“It’s great to be a Dane”

Vingaard, Tadej Pogacar and Geraint Thomas, the top three overall, all crossed the line together.

“It’s great to be a Dane right now, a third win for Denmark is amazing,” Vingaard said.

Pedersen said Denmark’s success was due to grassroots investment in a country where five times as many journeys are made by bike as by car.

“All the good work by local and continental teams and investment in Danish cycling is paying off,” he said.

There was a lot of talk about how Jumbo riders wore cooling jackets before stages as the heat wave built up.

They are the only team to use such jackets.

“Regular cold drinks and ice packs on your back as often as possible during the race to keep body temperature down is what you do,” Vingaard said.

“I wouldn’t say the heat was a problem,” said the man who was cheered on the streets of Copenhagen by tens of thousands of spectators wearing a rain poncho two weeks ago.

The heat wave in France will continue to develop over the next few days with temperatures expected to approach 40 degrees.

Saturday’s Stage 14 is a 193km race from Saint-Etienne to Mende over hills before a flat race from Rodez to Carcassonne as the heat reaches its peak on Sunday.

(AFP)

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