Belgium and France are the most represented nations in the leading group (three riders each). With, we repeat, the incredible Remco who once again gives his supposed leader van Aert a nightmare.
Always more than 2 minutes early for the leading group, well stocked. Three Frenchmen are there with Bardet but also with Pacher and Sivakov. Only the work of the Habs also allowed Evenepoel to find himself in this group. And when you know the level of the boy…
In Innsbruck, the one from Auvergnat had been beaten in the sprint by Alejandro Valverde and had settled for silver.
54 km: The peloton is more than 2 minutes away
The Groupama-FDJ corridor is full of sticks. But it is Evenepoel who makes the strongest impression.
Or a terrible 119m summit (no, I didn’t forget a number)! Just kidding, but it’s a 1.1km climb at 14% on average. The counterattacks returned to the leading group. With Remco Evenepoel who goes on his merry way and that could do very, very bad.
The Bigourdan plays patous leading his sheep. And meanwhile, the pursuers are only 15 seconds behind the leading pack.
In this peloton we find the current two-time world champion Julian Alaphilippe, Wout van Aert and Tadej Pogacar.
There are only 8 men in the lead, including Sivakov. Behind, at 40 seconds, a group of counterattacks formed by Bardet, Pascher, Sénéchal, Quintana, but especially Evenepoel’s will-o’-the-wisp. The Belgian, recent winner of the Vuelta, is obviously determined to play his personal card like last year in Leuven.
The Dutchman was one of the outsiders, but he only ran about thirty kilometers, “morally broken”. Previously, Raymond Poulidor’s grandson had finished the night (Australian time) in the post, after a strange incident. Van der Poel allegedly got into an altercation with two 13- and 14-year-olds at his hotel, “one fell to the ground and the other was thrown against a wall, causing a small graze on her elbow,” according to police. The broker explained that he got angry because the young people were making noise in the corridor of the establishment. He will appear in court on Tuesday. Nice, the trip to the antipodes…
Come on, let’s live together the last 77 km of the race. We are (again) at Mount Pleasant, the main difficulty of the course that the runners will have done 12 times by the end of the race. Opposite, a breakaway of about fifteen runners who exploded on the rise. Half gave up but Frenchman Pavel Sivakov is in the leading group. The peloton of favorites is less than 2 minutes away.
9:00 PM: Hey, Cyclix! It had been a long time since we delivered a bike, we were beginning to miss it. And we are going to savor it, this road race of the Cycling World Championship, because the season is coming to an end and we will be very sad to have to wait for the end of the first quarter of 2023 to vibrate again. In short, the race. 260 terminals, 13 ascents, including a first of 7.5 km at 5.7%. The profile is clearly for punchers. Put like that, we almost trusted Julian Alaphilippe, the reigning double world champion, but the Frenchman is out of luck this year and not really in top form. But we also know that he is able to sublimate himself on D-Day, so maybe? Opposite, the competition will be stronger than ever: Belgium presents itself with its two leaders, favorites, as long as their rivalry does not derail everything. Of course, let’s not forget about Tadej Pogacar, who certainly wants to redeem himself after the Tour de France defeat. >> See you at dawn for the start of the live