On Bastille Day at the Tour de France, the atmosphere is filled with festive locals lining the roadside, French riders eager to break away, and an impatient media yearning for a homegrown champion. The significance of this national holiday adds an extra layer of pride for the host nation. This year Stage 13 of the tour falls on the holiday. Once again Jonas Vingegaard & Tadej Pogačar are set to continue their 2023 Tour De France battle.
|Tour De France Outright|
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- 2023 Tour De France Stage 13
- Châtillon-Sur-Chalaronne to Grand Colombier
- Friday 14th July
- 10:30 a.m. EDT
Unless a French rider unexpectedly emerges as a top contender in the overall classification, stage 13, concluding at the formidable Grand Colombier, the only summit in the Jura Mountains included in the race, is unlikely to mark the end of their drought.
Known for its visually captivating roads that wind their way up the mountain, this grueling climb with its considerable length and brutally steep sections primarily highlights the General Classification (GC) riders, who usually reel in the breakaway to vie for the stage win themselves.
This was the scenario in 2020 when the Tour last featured a stage finish at the summit of Grand Colombier. Team Jumbo-Visma set a blistering pace throughout the entire ascent, with Wout van Aert, Tom Dumoulin, and Sepp Kuss each making significant contributions. Their efforts resulted in a remarkable blow to Egan Bernal’s aspirations of defending his yellow jersey. He was distanced early on. Jumbo’s leader, Primož Roglič, showcased exceptional control, but the outcome embodied the notion that the Tour can be lost on days like this rather than won.
Although Roglič retained the yellow jersey at the end of the day, he couldn’t land a decisive blow to his Slovenian compatriot Tadej Pogačar, who stuck to his wheel throughout the climb and ultimately outpaced him in the sprint to claim the stage victory. Just a week later, Pogačar stunned everyone by snatching the yellow jersey in the now-legendary Planche des Belles Filles time trial, leaving Roglič behind.
In contrast 2020, this year’s stage will see the riders approach the base of Grand Colombier after tackling the ascent to the Hauteville-Lompnes plateau. This alteration not only diminishes the chances of a breakaway victory, but it could also result in unconventional outcomes among the General Classification (GC) contenders. The sudden transition from flat, relatively easy racing to grueling uphill climbing can sometimes take a toll on a rider’s legs, causing them to require some time to adapt.
The initial part of the ascent up Grand Colombier serves as a harsh awakening, as the gradient quickly exceeds 9%, and numerous similarly steep ramps punctuate the demanding 17.4-kilometer journey to the summit. The mountain is characterized by its irregular gradient. Constantly fluctuating above and below the average of 7.1%. Consequently, maintaining a steady tempo becomes impossible. If any GC contender fails to find their rhythm on this unforgiving climb, their aspirations of claiming the coveted yellow jersey will be dashed.
🤩 Yet another great stage on the roads of the TDF2023! A spectacular battle to take the breakaway, and an even better solo win for Ion Izagirre. And tomorrow, we're back in the mountains!
🎬 Enjoy the 🇬🇧 highlights of stage 12! pic.twitter.com/OIWiBGohpc
— Tour de France™ (@LeTour) July 13, 2023
Tadej Pogačar from UAE Team Emirates and Jonas Vingegaard from Jumbo-Visma have been shadowing each other closely since the previous mountain stage, maintaining a slim 17-second gap in the General Classification (GC). Anticipations are high for stage 13. It is likely to be a pivotal day where we witness a shift in the time difference between them. Possibly even leading to a change in the rider wearing the prestigious yellow jersey.
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He has previously triumphed on the challenging slopes of Grand Colombier and Tadej Pogačar will be eager to replicate that exceptional performance in order to position himself as the frontrunner. The Slovenian rider is currently in close pursuit of his rival, Jonas Vingegaard, and has yet to don the leader’s jersey in this race, making this stage a prime opportunity for him to make a significant move. Both riders have demonstrated their ability to launch attacks that have left their opponent struggling to keep up. The question remains: Who will possess the necessary strength and strategic prowess to outmaneuver and drop the other on this stage?
Based on the analysis of the stage and the riders’ abilities, our prediction is that Tadej Pogačar will emerge victorious in the 2023 Tour De France stage 13, securing the coveted yellow jersey.
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