Along with a pulsating ride by Bob Jungels and a very promising performance by Thibaut Pinot, the other message was the numerical superiority shown by Jumbo-Visma at a crucial moment.
- Were it just numbers and Team UAE Emirates was actually pacing hard enough to keep them at bay?
- Were they not that confindent enough to bring their guys to a sprint with Pogacar, who would again take some bonus seconds?
- Were they just observing and gaining confidence for harder stages?
We might not get an answer in the Tour de France 2022 stage 10, but it will definitely come in the next two ones.
Stage 10 preview
At first glance, the short stage that comes after the rest day seems is promised to the breakaways. However, with so many riders still with in reach of the maillot jaune, as well as many teams still fresh with the ambition of taking a stage win on the greatest cycling platform; a breakaway win does not seems that straight forward.
First, the intermediate sprint situated so close to the finish, means that Wout Van Aert will try to snuggle in the breakaway. This already might discourage some breakaway riders to cooperate.
Secondly, with so many riders keen on a stage win, the breakaway will take time and a lot of persistence to form. While they could still get away, the short stage might actually means that the peloton will start the chase early.
Stage 10 finale
Whatever the scenario of the race, the winner will be the one negotiating this final climb best. Unless a good rider manages the get away early, priority need to be made with respect to the KOM points and the stage win with only 2 km separating them.
Stage 10 predictions
★★★★★ Lennard Kämna
After showing great fighting spirit at the Super Planche de Belles Filles, he will be back to play today. He is definitely one of the most under-rated rider of the peloton and that could play into his hands.
★★★★☆ Wout Van Aert
The only scenario that he does not win is that he misses the breakaway that eventually goes for the win. Otherwise. a rather sweet 4.1 % is not enough to frighten the man who tamed the Mont Ventoux last year!
★★★☆☆ Simon Geschke
Bar a rather anonymous performance at the Critérium du Dauphiné, the German has given a new breath to his career. He will aim to protect his Polka dot jersey along with using his sheer power to go solo on the final climb.
★★☆☆☆ Warren Barguil
With 2 of the hardest stages coming up where Nairo Quintana will need hinm, he might be allowed some freedom today. The stage and the final climb suits him perfectly.
★★☆☆☆ Bauke Mollema
He will be a contender to a stage win everyday in the next 2 weeks. Contention to winning is a process that needs several factors starting from being in the right breakaway to swinging the breakaway and the terrain to his advantage. With his old school riding based on feeling, a third Tour Stage win is achievable.
★★☆☆☆ Magnus Cort Nielsen
He is missing his maillot à pois already and will try to snatch it back. He will hope to make the breakaway. From then on, he has the perfect combination of rouleur, sprinter and climber to win it.
★★☆☆☆ Stefan Küng
The rather gentle slope of the final climb might be an opportunity for the Swiss time trial champion to try to pace himself up the climb and take an unlikely but deserved win.
★★☆☆☆ Filippo Ganna
Just like Stefan Küng, the world ITT champion has improved his climbing. His Ineos Grenadiers team, even with 3 man in the top 10, is giving freedom to its riders to go into the break as witnessed by Jonathan Castroviejo’s second place in the last stage.
★☆☆☆☆ Brent Van Moer
Lotto Soudal will be present in the break away and Brent Van Moer, is someone we will all enjoy seeing with that never give up attitude. Just like Kämna, he is not caught until he is caught.
★☆☆☆☆ Quinn Simmons
Gutted to have been paced out by Wout Van Aert, he will be looking to get into the breakaway again and get some KOM points. From then on, he can build his confidence and aim for more.
★☆☆☆☆ Mathieu Van der Poel
A choice based more on hope than form. A rest day could do wonders and the Tour de France 2022 could really do with some Mathieu Van der Poel naughtiness.
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