[Tour de France stage 10 as it happened: Pello Bilbao wins as breakaway has its day
As promised, here’s the full report from stage 10 of the Tour de France.
Hold tight, I’ll have a full race report up soon.
He launches his sprint with 200m to go and holds his position to the line. Zimmerman second, while O’Connor finishes third.
1.1km to go: Zimmerman now goes over the top. Again Bilbao latches onto the attacker’s wheel.
1.7km to go: Ben O’Connor attacks! Bilbao follows closely on his wheel. Pedrero the only other who can hold on.
3km to go: Heartbreak for Neilands. He’s caught by the Bilbao group.
There’s more drama too, with a four-man group containing Alaphilippe just 22 seconds behind.
6.5km to go: Neilands is pedalling like there’s no tomorrow. His speed is 60km/h as the road starts to flatten out. 12 seconds to the chasers.
10km to go: No surprise here, but Neilands has been awarded the prize for the day’s most combative rider. He was one of the original animators of the breakaway from the flag drop, and is now 10km away from a momentous stage win.
12km to go: 14 seconds for Neilands now. The chasing group is hitting speeds of 75km/h on the descent to Issoire.
18km to go: This is going to be a fast finale. Neilands’s advantage has been slashed to 16 seconds, with Zimmermann leading the descent in the chasing group.
22km to go: Neilands crests the final climb with a 25-second gap. Behind him, Chaves, Bilbao, O’Connor, Zimmermann and Pedrero chase.
There has been no movement in the yellow jersey group for a while.
28km to go: Neilands’s advantage is stretching out. It now stands at 40 seconds. Can he hold on?
29.5km to go: Let’s not forget that this stage finishes with a downhill run-in to the line. It’s prime Alaphilippe territory, provided the Frenchman doesn’t give Neilands too big of a gap.
30km to go: Israel-Premier Tech’s Neilands is leading solo, with a 26-second advantage. Van der Poel has been reeled in by the peloton.
32km to go: The break, and the chasing pair of Wout Van Aert and Mathieu Van Der Poel, are on the climb now. These two are 50sec ahead of the bunch and still 2.16 behind the break.
The pair aren’t making much headway on the breakaway, still at 2.18 as they approach the bottom of the Chapelle-Marcousse. They’ll hope to deliver the killer blow when the road points uphill though.
41km to go: MVDP and WVA have 11 seconds on the peloton, and are 2.18 behind the break, which is enjoying renewed impetus after the attacks of Neilands and Alaphilippe. The kilometres are ticking by fast now.
45km to go: Mathieu Van Der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) and Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) have slipped off the front of the peloton as it heads downhill.
46km to go: The riders are now on a long, long descent. It’s followed by the climb of the cat-three climb of the Côte de Chapelle-Marcousse. That’s six kilometres long at 5.6%, and then comes 25km of mainly downhill to the finish at Issoire.
51km to go: Julian Alaphilippe has a go! He’s followed by Kwiatkowski, and the rest… Neilands is coming back fast.
53km to go: 9 seconds for Neilands from the break, whose gap over the bunch is down to 2.15, with no less than Mathieu Van Der Poel plugging away on the front in pursuit.
54km to go: Perhaps Neilands (Israel-PremierTech) was inspired by his DS’s words – he’s attacked out of the breakaway, gaining a small gap. But the break looks motivated behind.
58km to go: The gap to the breakaway has slowly been coming down. It’s now 2.42 and the break may need to think about stepping up the pace if its going to survive.
62km to go: The Israel-PremierTech team car comes over the radio, addressing breakaway riders Krists Neilands and Nick Schultz: “Today we can win a second stage, you know that guys. Heads up and good luck.”
66.2km to go: If you’re just joining us, allow us just to reiterate how strong this breakaway is looking. It’s 14 riders strong, and includes Michał Kwiatkowski (Ineos Grenadiers), Julian Alaphilippe and Kasper Asgreen (both Soudal-Quick Step), Ben O’Connor (Ag2r-Citroën) and Matthias Skjelmose (Lidl-Trek). They’re working well together too – the peloton is going to have a job to catch them.
70.8km to go: Some sort of shoe / pedal issue going on for Giulio Ciccone (Lidl-Trek), who is hanging on to the team car while trying to put a shoe on with one hand. Problem apparently sorted, he’s back and chasing back on to the bunch.
72km to go: The breakaway continues to work well together, with the gap to the peloton stable, now at 3.13.
77.5km to go: Scrap that, Chaves is caught. Suddenly a day alone under the sun doesn’t seem so attractive to the Colombian.
79km to go: We’re into the last 80km, so here’s a reminder of the situation on the road.
Esteban Chaves has shot out of a 14-man breakaway and is leading solo. The peloton is 3-20 in arrears.
85km to go: Esteban Chaves (EF Education-EasyPost) is on the attack. The Colombian champion leads solo up the Côte de Saint-Victor-la-Rivière, with a 30-second gap to the breakaway.
86km to go: Another one of my colleagues, Chris Marshall-Bell, would like to weigh in on the heat.
“I would just like to say that it is unseasonably warm here in France,” he says. “If I had the option of jumping head first into a freezing pool of water or sitting for the next six hours in this climbing gym-cum-press room, I would choose the former.”
90km to go: The gap to the peloton is now at 2-43. I think it’s fair to say the breakaway has been established.
94km to go: I’ve had word from my colleague, Adam Becket, who is on the ground in France.
“I cannot stress how hot it is,” he says of the near 40C temperatures. “If there was an extreme weather protocol for journalists, I would ask for it to be invoked.”
100km to go: The breakaway crests the stage’s highest point – 1451m – and tucks in for the descent into the valley. Things are starting to settle down.
105km to go: There’s a second group on the road, 25 seconds behind the breakaway. In it are Julian Alaphilippe and Ben O’Connor, who is determined to bridge across.
107.4km to go: Kasper Asgreen wins the day’s only intermediate sprint. He won’t care for the green jersey points, but there will be a nice prime heading to the Dane’s bank account.
108km to go: Hats off to Stefan Küng. The Groupama-FDJ rider has given a monster tow to carry his leader David Gaudu back into the peloton. Romain Bardet has also rejoined the group. Panic over, les français.
110km to go: The frantic start is yet to settle down. We’re about to head onto the third categorised climb of the day, the Col de la Croix Saint-Robert.
Col de la Croix Saint Robert is another monster KOM – we’ll see who maximized their recovery day: https://t.co/AQXIWcYoYz pic.twitter.com/ecQXph1Fn2July 11, 2023
112km to go: There’s a seven-man front group with around a one-minute advantage over the peloton.
They are: Esteban Chaves (EF Education-EasyPost), Kasper Asgreen (Soudal-Quick Step), Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious), Mattias Skjelmose (Lidl-Trek), Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty), Nick Schultz (Israel-Premier Tech) and Warren Barguil (Arkéa Samsic).
117km to go: Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), one of the pre-race favourites for the stage win, is also in the trailing group with Gaudu and Bardet.
There’s a rumour circulating around the peloton that this is the Belgian’s final day at the Tour de France. He and his partner are expecting their second child, and the birth is due any day now.
121km to go: The average speed so far is 41.2km/h. So much for a calm one after the rest day.
Krists Neilands was one of those who animated this stage early on. Here he is in action, stringing out the peloton.
126km to go: The Gaudu-Bardet group is now two minutes behind the yellow jersey. This could end up being a disaster for the Frenchmen.
131km to go: There’s now two men off the front – Julian Alaphilippe and Matej Mohorič.
137.5km to go: Some of the top-10 contenders are struggling to keep up with the frantic start. Romain Bardet (dsm-firmenich) and David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) are both out the back.
🇫🇷After Romain Bardet, it’s now @GauduDavid exiting at the back of the peloton. Tough day for the French riders. 🇫🇷Après Romain Bardet, c’est maintenant @GauduDavid qui sort à l’arrière de peloton. Journée difficile pour les coureurs français. #TDF2023 pic.twitter.com/CsypyF1mptJuly 11, 2023
143km to go: You’d think you were watching a criterium at Crystal Palace here. Moves are flying out of the peloton, but they’re all being kept on a tight leash at the moment.
146km to go: There’s clearly some fresh legs in the peloton, because the racing is relentless. Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogačar have now left the front group on the road and dropped back. We’re still waiting on a clear breakaway to form.
148km to go: We’re about to reach the foot of the category-three Col de Guéry. Here’s the climb details, courtesy of Strava, and the KOM time to beat, held by Valentin.
The hilliest of the #TourdeFrance, Stage 10 appropriately starts in a volcano-themed park. Peep below ⬇️ for the Strava Segments that’ll test the riders today, kicking off with Col-de-Guéry: https://t.co/PQOdgw5q0G pic.twitter.com/BmN1c78ju5July 11, 2023
152km to go: The GC men, for some reason, have bridged across to the breakaway. The gap to the peloton is 47 seconds. Ineos Grenadiers have missed the split.
159km to go: The gruppetto is forming. Fabio Jakobsen (Soudal Quick-Step), victim of some nasty road rash on stage four, is one of those out the back. As is birthday boy Caleb Ewan (Lotto Dstny). It’s going to be a long day for the sprinters.
161.5km to go: Bryan Coquard (Cofidis) and Krists Neilands (Isreal-Premier Tech) have kick-started an attack on the opening category-three climb. Three others have joined them, including Ineos Grenadiers rider Michal Kwiatkowski.
166km to go: The battle for the break has begun. There’s a lot of movement at the front of the pack, but no move has stuck yet.
Stage 10 gets underway
We’re off! Christian Prudhomme waves his yellow flag and the race start is given.
It is a hot day in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, where ground temperatures are set to exceed 40 degrees celsius. Spare a thought for the riders, and my colleagues at the roadside.
10 minutes to go until kilometre zero.
While I’m busy covering today’s Tour de France stage, my colleagues in the tech team are gathering all the best Amazon Prime Day deals. If you’re after some new kit or a bike computer, go check our the discounts available.
Sign-on has started in Vulcania ahead of stage 10.
“What’s Vulcania?” I hear you call. “That’s not a place in France.”
Well, you’re right. Vulcania is an amusement park, or as the tourist signs say, the European Park of Volcanism. It opened in 2001 and is jam-packed with volcano-themed educational fun.
Of course, the WorldTour peloton is no stranger to amusement parks. In February this year, stage six of the UAE Tour began at Abu Dhabi’s Warner Bros World – the world’s largest indoor theme park, which cost $1 billion to develop.
There’s an hour and a half until stage 10 begins. Don’t forget to check out our how to watch the Tour de France guide, so you can tune into the action live, wherever you are in the world.
A slow start?
Here’s an interesting stat for you. This year’s Tour de France has set off slower than last year’s edition.
The average speed of the yellow jersey wearer Jonas Vingegaard is 42.1km/h over the first nine stages. After the same time last year, the race leader Tadej Pogačar averaged 44.5km/h.
This is no doubt a symptom of the tough Grand Départ held in the Basque Country, where the first two stages clocked around 3,000m of climbing each.
Stage four to Nogaro – “the most boring Tour de France stage for a long time,” according to Jasper Philipsen – also kept the average speed down.
Tour de France Femmes unveils Rotterdam Grand Départ for 2024
In case you missed it yesterday, next year’s Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift will start in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
The event will begin on 12 August 2024 – so as to not clash with the Paris Olympics – and the first three of the eight stages will take place in the Netherlands.
“The last few seasons have been a tale of Dutch ascendancy,” said race director Marion Rousse in a press statement. “Starting from the home of these champions will kindle a great popular celebration. Expect their supporters to turn our in force.”
It will be the first time the race has left France since it was added to the calendar last summer. It will also be the first edition that won’t include Annemiek van Vleuten, winner of the recent Giro d’Italia Donne, who is scheduled to retire at the end of the season.
Full details of the route will be revealed on 25 October.
Here’s how the general classification stands going into today’s stage:
1. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 38-37-46
2. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), at 17s
3. Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe), at 2-40
4. Carlos Rodriguez (Ineos Grenadiers), at 4-22
5. Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) at 4-39
6. Simon Yates (Jayco AlUla), at 4-44
7. Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers), at 5-26
8. David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ), at 6-01
9. Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) at 6-45
10. Romain Bardet (dsm-firmenich) at 6-58
Barring disaster for any of the 10 riders, I suspect this will look the same come the end of the day.
To find out who’s leading the other competitions at the race, visit our up-to-date classifications tracker.
Stage 10: Vulcania > Issoire (167.2km)
Before the stage gets underway at 12:20 BST (13:20 CET), let’s take a look at what’s in store for the riders.
Stage 10 offers a lumpy profile, with four category three climbs, and one category two. The peloton will be climbing from the flag drop, and will be spinning up and down throughout the day, with a downhill run-in to the line.
Expect the GC contenders to bed in for a relaxed one after the first rest day. If a stage was ever scripted for the breakaway, it’s this one.