Once again, Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogačar are poised to continue their intense battle in the 2023 Tour de France. This time, in Stage 17. These two prominent cyclists have been consistently challenging each other throughout the Tour, showcasing their exceptional skills and determination. Their ongoing rivalry has captivated the attention of cycling enthusiasts and fans worldwide, adding an extra layer of excitement to the prestigious event. As the Tour de France unfolds, all eyes will be on Vingegaard and Pogačar as they push themselves to the limit in their quest for victory.
It is Vingegaard, however, who is now the favorite to win overall after a stunning time-trial performance in Stage 16.
|2023 Tour De France Outright|
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Tour De France Stage 17
- 2023 Tour De France Stage 17
- Wednesday 19th July
- Distance: 165.7km
- Start location: Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc
- Finish location: Courchevel
The stage commences in Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc, situated at the bottom of the final ascent of Stage 15. From there, the route descends into a valley and proceeds to the initial ascent of the day: the challenging Category 1 Col des Saisies, spanning 13.4 kilometers at an average gradient of 5.1 percent. It is anticipated that a sizable group of riders will break away between the start of the stage and the base of this climb.
Notably, Italy’s Giulio Ciccone from Lidl-Trek and American rider Neilson Powless from EF Education-EasyPost, currently leading the Tour’s King of the Mountains Classification, will strive to maintain their positions. They will aim to accumulate as many points as possible on the first three climbs of the stage, thwarting the efforts of Denmark’s Jonas Vingegaard from Jumbo-Visma and Slovenia’s Tadej Pogačar from UAE Team Emirates.
Following his impressive victory in the Tour’s only individual time trial during Stage 16, Jonas Vingegaard now enters Stage 17 of the Tour De France as the clear frontrunner, holding a commanding 1 minute and 48-second advantage over Tadej Pogačar. Assuming Vingegaard recovers well from his outstanding performance, he can adopt a defensive approach while Pogačar will be compelled to take risks in order to regain lost time. This could include making daring moves during the descent between the summit of the Col de la Loze and the finish in Courchevel.
If Vingegaard manages to withstand Pogačar’s attacks and maintain his position, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him actively strive for a stage victory. Doing so would deal a significant psychological blow to Pogačar, further intensifying the competition between them.
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In a remarkable display, Jonas Vingegaard delivered a devastating performance in the 22.4km individual time trial from Passy to Combloux. He shattered the hopes of Tadej Pogačar and significantly extended his lead in the Tour de France. Vingegaard’s ride allowed him to increase his overall advantage from 10 seconds to a gap of nearly two minutes.
The highly anticipated showdown between Vingegaard and the defending champion, Pogačar, failed to materialize during the stage 16 time trial. Vingegaard exhibited his superiority right from the start. He visibly outpaced his rival by taking sharp corners and accelerating with higher speeds on the straight sections. He quickly established a 16-second lead at the first time check, which then grew to a 31-second gap at the bottom of the Côte de Domancy climb.
Pogačar, recognizing the need for a change, made a bold decision to switch from his time-trial bike to a lighter standard road bike, shedding 2kg in weight. However, this gamble failed to yield the desired results, and the two-time champion seemed to lose further momentum. On the 2.5km climb, Pogačar lacked the usual power and dominance he had displayed throughout most of the race. Vingegaard showed no signs of faltering.
As they approached the finish line, the time difference between the two riders exceeded a minute and a half. Vingegaard, who was the last to start, was rapidly closing the gap on his rival. The overall standings now show Vingegaard leading Pogačar by a significant margin of 1 minute and 48 seconds, cementing his position as a formidable contender in the race.
— Tour de France™ (@LeTour) July 18, 2023
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