A day in the Hell of the North...
Today was more than special, it was expected. Riders and especially GC contenders was very tense with the idea of this stage. Everyone knew that they could lose Le Tour today during this 156km and 15 cobbles sectors. The race started in this bad dynamic with the terrible crash of Richie Porte at the km 7. Fracture of the clavicle and withdrawal for the Australian champion, already unlucky on Le Tour 2017.
The rest of the race was ran in the same mood. Crash, attacks, punctures... none favourite was saved. The last 2nd of Le Tour finished in the third group, a few seconds after the GC contenders group where they have all limit the damage.
But this stage was not only about crash and misfortune. We also had a beautiful race where the yellow jersey took his responsabilities and where cobbles specialist have all tried to do a remake of Paris Roubaix. And in this exercice, it's no one else than a former winner of Paris Roubaix who has took the victory. John Degenkolb two years after his huge crash in Spain shows that is really back in the game !
©️ ASO / Jered Gruber