Great Scott: Aussie team takes Tour by storm

Mitchelton-Scott have a hat-trick of wins at the Tour de France after Simon Yates reigned supreme on another explosive day in the Pyrenees.

Yates dropped his breakaway companions on the Mur De Peguere with 40km to go and then dispatched lone leader Simon Geschke on the last climb, the Prat d'Albis, to celebrate his second stage win of the race.

But it was French hope Thibaut Pinot who set the mountain alight in the battle for the yellow jersey, launching a stinging attack 6km from the line.

 

 

Pinot dropped all but Egan Bernal, Emanuel Buchmann and race leader Julian Alaphilippe, although that trio could not stand his pace for long.

Pinot powered on, picking up Mikel Landa along the way for an eventual time gain of 1min16sec on a fighting Alaphilippe, who finally cracked.

Defending champ Geraint Thomas and Steven Kruijswijk made their moves later to make smaller gains on Alaphilippe.

Aussie Richie Porte was 10th on the day, moving up to 11th on general classification, 6min30sec adrift.

 

Mikel Landa of Spain and Movistar Team looks back as Thibaut Pinot of France and Team Groupama-FDJ closes the gap. Picture: Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Mikel Landa of Spain and Movistar Team looks back as Thibaut Pinot of France and Team Groupama-FDJ closes the gap. Picture: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

 

Yates soaked up the atmosphere with a long victory salute at the end of another brutally hard afternoon for the peloton. It was his seventh grand tour victory.

"I'm very proud of what I did today," Yates said afterwards.

"It was an extremely hard day - from the start to the finish. I raced the way I like to, try to be aggressive, and I managed to pull it off. I'm really happy.

"I'm very tired now, that one took a lot of effort. There are some more chances, we'll see what it holds."

The Australian team have seen Adam Yates' yellow jersey ambitions go up in smoke, but three stage wins at the world's biggest bike race is excellent compensation.

 

Britain's Geraint Thomas, left, Netherlands' Steven Kruijswijk, centre, and Spain's Alejandro Valverde cross the finish line. Picture: AP Photo/Christophe Ena
Britain's Geraint Thomas, left, Netherlands' Steven Kruijswijk, centre, and Spain's Alejandro Valverde cross the finish line. Picture: AP Photo/Christophe Ena

 

"Isn't sport amazing? One day we're disappointed for Adam and the GC chance, but the way the guys and the whole team has bounced back today is something to be pretty proud of," Mitchelton-Scott general manager Shayne Bannan said.

"It was a reset and away we go again."

Team Ineos' inability to dominate the race for the first time in years has sparked repeatedly unpredictable and attacking racing in what remains a wide open Tour.

 

France's Julian Alaphilippe wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey gave up some time to his major rivals on a tough day. Picture: AP Photo/Thibault Camus
France's Julian Alaphilippe wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey gave up some time to his major rivals on a tough day. Picture: AP Photo/Thibault Camus

 

Pinot's irresistible surge saw him vault to within 1min50sec of the yellow jersey.

"We must continue now - we're moving up the ranking and the toughest stages are coming. When you have good legs, you have to enjoy them," Pinot said.

After appearing vulnerable on the Tourmalet on Stage 14, Thomas responded to narrow the gap between he and Alaphilippe to 1min35sec.

"At least the legs are responding a little bit better. It was a solid start so I didn't know how - it's such a mental game now. Everyone is good, everyone is tired. You just need to try and block that out," Thomas said.

"It's easy to think about the good times last year and think, 'Oh, I should be floating', but I was suffering then too, so I just need to bite the bullet to dig in."

 

STAGE RESULTS AND OVERALL STANDINGS

 

STAGE RESULTS (Top 15)

1. Simon Yates, Britain, Mitchelton-Scott, 4:47:04.

2. Thibaut Pinot, France, Groupama-FDJ,: 33 behind.

3. Mikel Landa, Spain, Movistar, same time.

4. Emanuel Buchmann, Germany, Bora-Hansgrohe,: 51.

5. Egan Bernal, Colombia, Ineos, same time.

6. Lennard Kamna, Germany, Sunweb, 1:03.

7. Geraint Thomas, Britain, Ineos, 1:22.

8. Steven Kruijswijk, Netherlands, Jumbo-Visma, same time.

9. Alejandro Valverde, Spain, Movistar, same time.

10. Richie Porte, Australia, Trek-Segafredo, 1:30.

11. Julian Alaphilippe, France, Deceuninck-QuickStep, 1:49.

12. Wout Poels, Netherlands, Ineos, same time.

13. Warren Barguil, France, Arkea-Samsic, 1:54.

14. Jakob Fuglsang, Denmark, Astana, same time.

15. Guillaume Martin, France, Wanty-Gobert, 2:08.

 

OVERALL STANDINGS (Top 15)

1. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA/Deceuninck) 61hrs 00min 22sec,

2. Geraint Thomas (GBR/INE) at 1min 35sec,

3. Steven Kruijswijk (NED/JUM) 1:47,

4. Thibaut Pinot (FRA/FDJ) 1:50,

5. Egan Bernal (COL/INE) 2:02,

6. Emanuel Buchmann (GER/BOR) 2:14,

7. Mikel Landa (ESP/MOV) 4:54,

8. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 5:00,

9. Jakob Fuglsang (DEN/AST) 5:27,

10. Rigoberto Uran (COL/EF1) 5:33,

11. Richie Porte (AUS/TRE) 6:30,

12. Warren Barguil (FRA/ARK) 7:22,

13. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV) 8:28,

14. Roman Kreuziger (CZE/DDT) 11:04,

15. Daniel Martin (IRL/UAE) 11:39.

 

GREEN SPRINT POINTS JERSEY (Top 5)

1. Peter Sagan (SVK/BOR) 284 pts,

2. Sonny Colbrelli (ITA/BAH) 191,

3. Michael Matthews (AUS/SUN) 187,

4. Elia Viviani (ITA/DEC) 184,

5. Caleb Ewan (AUS/LOT) 148

 

POLKA DOT MOUNTAIN JERSEY (Top 5)

1. Tim Wellens (BEL/LOT) 64pts,

2. Thibaut Pinot (FRA/FDJ) 50,

3. Thomas De Gendt (BEL/LOT) 37,

4. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA/DEC) 33,

5. Giulio Ciccone (ITA/TRE) 30.

 

WHITE UNDER-25'S JERSEY (Top 5)

1. Egan Bernal (COL/INE) 61hr 02mins 24sec,

2. David Gaudu (FRA/FDJ) at 12min 29sec.,

3. Laurens De Plus (BEL/JUM) 45:26.,

3. Enric Mas (ESP/DEC) 33:16.,

4. Giulio Ciccone (ITA/TRE) 49:16.,

5. Gregor Mühlberger (AUT/BOR) 50:55.

News Corp Australia


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