Boasson Hagen wins the 19th stage of the Tour de France
Photo: Philippe Lopez, Agence France-Presse
Taking a better path in a roundabout, 3 kilometres from the finish, Boasson Hagen was surprised his breakaway companions to remove his first success in the Tour in 2017.
The Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen has won the 19th stage of the Tour de France, Saturday, Salon-de-Provence, on the eve of the trial of Marseille, is decisive for the final podium between the first three, Chris Froome, Romain Bardet and Rigoberto Uran.
Taking a better path in a roundabout, 3 kilometres from the finish, Boasson Hagen was surprised his breakaway companions to remove his first success in the Tour in 2017. In Nuits-Saint-Georges, he was inclined to less than 6 millimetres in the face of the German Marcel Kittel in the seventh step.
Salon-de-Provence, city of Nostradamus, which multiplied the prophecies in the Sixteenth century, the Tower was especially projected to the second “time” of this edition, in the minds of all.
The peloton cross the finish more than 12 minutes late, and Froome has kept his lead intact on Bardet, 23 seconds, and on Uran, 29 seconds. Enough for the British to be confident before the time trial which he is supposed to be the best qualified of the three.
The slim hope of Bardet
In Düsseldorf, the opening of the Tour, the winner outgoing candidate for a fourth victory — had preceded Bardet 39 seconds and Uran 51 seconds. But the distance was significantly shorter (14 km against 22.5 km to Marseille), the road slippery because of the rain and the combination worn by the British, with aerodynamically challenged by other teams, offered him without a doubt an additional advantage.
As long as it is not on the Champs-Elysees… I’ll try to finish the Tour de France, which is already successful.
The French cyclist Romain Bardet
In Marseille, Froome will be required to wear a combination reserved for the yellow jersey by the organisers. It will also and especially to take the side of the Good Mother, the road that leads to Notre-Dame de la Garde on a raidillon of 1200 metres, and to negotiate the descent to find avenues flat leading to the stade Velodrome.
This course, more selective than in Dusseldorf, it leaves a (very) slim hope to Bardet, including The AG2R la Mondiale team wants to believe in the possibility of an exploit. “Roman recovers very well, it is always best in the end of the Tour,” says the manager Vincent Lavenu.
“I’ll fight to the bottom “, promises the French. “As long as one is not on the Champs-Elysees… I’ll try to finish the Tour de France, which is already successful. “
But the figures speak in favour of Froome, twice on the podium of the olympics in the time trial (bronze in London and Rio). And especially the winner on two occasions of a “stopwatch” of the Tower, to Chorges in 2013 and in Megève in the past year.
The logic would be the same place Bardet behind Uran, separated from the French by a difference of just 6 seconds. In his career, the fickle Colombian has already won a time trial in a grand tour (Giro 2014), on a rugged route.
“It is “Rigo,” who is the biggest threat in the chrono, ” says Froome. “Riders of the general classification, it is the strongest… after me. “
Suffice to say that, except disaster for the British, the delay of 29 seconds to make up for Uran may well prove to be insurmountable for the Colombian to be the first rider from his country to win the Tour. But a second place closer to his younger brother Nairo Quintana, two times second in the Tour behind Froome (2013 and 2015).
Boasson Hagen, the former of Sky
In the step leading from the Alps to the plain of provence, the longest of the event (222,5 km), the riders of the general classification and only had to turn the legs. The breakaway of 20 riders formed after 35 kilometres has opened the route through the Haute-Provence, without being pursued by the peloton.
The group is split in two at 20 km from the arrival, following an acceleration of the Belgian Jens Keukeleire.
At the finish, Boasson Hagen was preceded by 5 seconds German Niklas Arndt and 17 seconds the small group set by Keukeleire.
Boasson Hagen (30 years old) won in the Tour since his two-stage victory of the 2011 edition. The Norwegian, of natural taiseux, then bore the jersey of team Sky.
After five years spent alongside Froome, he joined the training to south african, Dimension Data, to get out of his role of domestique deluxe.