Tour de France: Hugo Houle wins the 16th stage alone in Foix, Jonas Vingegaard remains in yellow

In Foix, Canada rejoices. Hugo Houle won the 16th stage of the Tour de France alone between Carcassonne and Foix on Tuesday. This is the second Canadian stage victory in the history of the Tour de France after Steve Bauer in 1988. He is ahead of Valentin Madouas and Michael Woods.

In the overall race, Jonas Vingegaard remained unmoved by the attacks of Tadej Pogacar in the port of Lers (11.4 km at 7%) and did not give him the opportunity to disturb him in the wall of Péguère ( 9.3km at 7.9%). Romain Bardet, the first Frenchman in the general classification this Tuesday morning (4th at 3’01), was adrift in this last ascent and lost 3’30 overall. David Gaudu climbs to fifth place.

Matteo Jorgenson carried away by the Swell

Hugo Houle did more than bring a second Tour de France victory to Canada. He won his first professional victory outside the time trial. Double Canadian time trial champion (2015 and 2021), the 31-year-old runner exulted in Foix by pointing his fingers to the sky in tribute to his brother, who died tragically in December 2012, knocked down by a motorist while jogging. .

Member of the breakaway of 29 riders launched towards the port of Lers and the wall of Péguère, he maneuvered perfectly with his teammate, Michael Woods, as soon as the indigestible percentages of the narrow roads of Péguère arched in front of them. Only Matteo Jorgenson, who is competing in his first Tour de France, remained in contact with the Canadian puncher, letting Hugo Houle slip away, who swallowed the slope while managing. The Movistar rider could do nothing against the Israel Premier Tech duo, caught in an unbreakable strategic vice, and the descent that was looming remained his only hope of getting back on Hugo Houle. The risks he took knocked him to the ground and even if he managed to get back at Michael Woods, it was too late.

Vingegaard controls Pogacar

Time is also running out for Tadej Pogacar and he had planned to harass the Yellow Jersey in the Pyrenees. He kept his word today by attacking in the last kilometers of the port of Lers. Carried by a diminished team – only Sepp Kuss was still alive at that time – Jonas Vingegaard returned without difficulty to the fiery 23-year-old runner. At the seesaw, the Slovenian attacked to make the descent but who followed him like a magnet? Jonas Vingegaard, unfazed.

Jonas Vingegaard (in yellow) left nothing to Tadej Pogacar (in white) (B. Papon / L’Équipe)

The high percentages of the Mur de Péguère (9.3 km at 7.9%) were a tempting invitation to shake Vingegaard’s certainties. In the end, the only thing that was broken on this climb was Majka’s chain which, until his mishap, set the tempo for Pogacar. This twist of fate had the effect of overturning the hierarchy in the leading group, the enormous Sepp Kuss taking the reins and anesthetizing the Slovenian’s offensive tendencies. But could the latter only change the pace?

According to his credo, forged from the Granon stage, Tadej Pogacar wants to attack, attack and attack again to get back at Jonas Vingegaard. At the risk of showing his flaws when he doesn’t or at least letting his opponent think that he didn’t have the means. The Yellow Jersey could be well inspired to make its first attacks in the coming days, he who was content to accompany the Slovenian from Alpes d’Huez.

French people in chiaroscuro

The French had a mixed day. David Gaudu finishes with the favorites and climbs to fifth place in the general classification. He held on to the clockwork engine of Geraint Thomas for a long time but let go in the last meters of Péguère. 20 seconds behind the Maillot Jaune group at the top of the wall, he had to fend for himself to enter the Maillot Jaune group on the descent. In the end, the Groupama-FDJ rider is fifth overall, just over two minutes from the podium.

This is nothing compared to Bardet’s setbacks. On the finish line, he was 3’30 behind the group of favorites and fell from fourth to ninth place overall, relegated to just under four minutes behind Geraint Thomas, still third. The DSM runner was released from the start of the Péguère wall. Bad digestion from the rest day the day before? Heatstroke? Beginning of a declining form after an unfinished Giro in May? The delay is significant and his chances of grabbing a Top 5 are now minimal.

Bardet lost big on the 16th stage of the Tour.  (E. Garnier/The Team)

Bardet lost big on the 16th stage of the Tour. (E. Garnier/The Team)

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