Tour de France: the first head-to-head between Vingaard and Pogacar was decided by the Yates brothers, Adam taking the first yellow jersey

The 2023 Tour de France, the long-awaited Tour duel between Jonas Vingaard and Tadej Pogacar, began with a tribute to cycling these days, to the offensive, bold and daring way of racing that a new generation of stars has come to bring. . Monotonous initial race, decided by a massive sprint to award the first yellow? Forget. It’s 2023 and it’s the world of bold attackers.

The 182 kilometres, starting and finishing in Bilbao, promised movement and spectacle, in one of the most demanding first days of the competition in recent memory. And so it was. On the Côte de Brochet, two kilometers at 9.8% on average to finish 9.6 kilometers from the finish, there was rapid movement between the main candidates.

UAE-Emirates rocked, Jumbo also showed strength, pogi gave Jonas a first test. In the downhill, the duel between the 2020 and 2021 (Slovenian) and 2022 (Danish) winners was enjoyed by a real pair of brothers.

Pogacar’s UAE colleague Adam Yates and Jayco’s Simon Yates self-isolated and were not caught. On arrival, Adam would be the strongest, becoming the first yellow jersey of the Tour 2023. At 12 seconds, third place went to Pogacar, already gaining four bonus seconds to the competition. The data is published.

Le Tour and San Mamés, at the start of the first stage of the race

Le Tour and San Mamés, at the start of the first stage of the race

European Press News/Getty

The 110th edition of the greatest cycling race took place, for the 25th time in history, outside the borders of France. After San Sebastián, in 1992, the Tour started again in the Basque Country, candidate for the region of the world with the best cycling fans, people who embrace the peloton, filling it with affection and passion, brimming with cycling culture.

A competition in the Basque Country almost always means rough terrain, constant ups and downs, space for attackers and daring. Bilbao has followed, in recent years, Copenhagen (2022), Brussels (2019), Düsseldorf (2017), Utrecht (2015) or Leeds (2014) as a foreign scene of big partywhich took off from San Memes, the cathedral, home of the Athletic Club.

An early breakout was called off before the final two climbs. On the Côte de Vivero, 4.3 kilometers at 7% to finish in the last 30 kilometers, the Pogacar team began to show their claws, increasing the pace. Right there, we realized that we would have differences between some of the main names.

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Were it not for the monotony of less busy times in cycling, we would have crashes, the usual misfortune of nervous early days. And these killed two men with ambitions in general: Enric Mas, second in the Vuelta 2022 and leader of Movistar, had to give up; Richard Carapaz, former Giro winner and Olympic champion, lost several minutes.

On the last climb, UAE further toughened the race, first with the Austrian Felix Großschartner, then with Adam Yates. At 10 kilometers from the finish, only the future winner of the stage, Pogacar, Vingaard and Victor Lafay, from Cofidis, were still in the leading group.

The two great candidates for the general final would reach the summit of the last difficulty alone. There was the Slovenian and the Dane, the extrovert Pogacar and the shy Vingaard, the super favorites to climb on the top step of the podium in Paris. Honest, from the beginning they show what they came for, in this kind of prologue to what will surely come.

On the descent, several names came together and, there, the Yates brothers took the opportunity to isolate themselves. They would go first and second. Overall, Adam is first, eight seconds ahead of his brother and 18 for Pogacar, who is four seconds ahead of Vingaard. The great cycling shock of 2023 is here.

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