It was the French National Day on Wednesday but no French riders on the podium in Stage 17. Best placed Frenchman was David Gaudu who finished fourth. If there was ever any doubts about the cycling ability of Hurricane Taddy Pogacar it was put to rest in Stage 17. The 178km course with its winding roads from Muret finishing in a steep climb of Col de Portet are easily the hardest on the Tour De France. Pogacar decided to take the race by the scruff of the neck and set the pace for his rivals in the GC standing, Carapaz, Uran and Vingegaard. Just check out the clip the wind blowing against the riders 148 km to go. HOW DO YOU RIDE AGAINST WIND IN CYCLING? First of all do not ride side by side, make sure to be in a single file to avoid the wind blowing one rider against the others. Secondly when negotiating corners like the one as dangerous as 23.3km it is imperative to stay in the middle of the road, not too close to the edges. Check out the rider in dark clothing almost ending up in the ditch.
Brave Carapaz went for broke on 1.4km mark on the ascent and down the tunnel they went. The tunnels are your best friend in my opinion. For starters there is no wind or elements to talk about so I would attack them full throttle. But in the last 800 meters you could see Carapaz struggling despite being in the lead, with ice cool Tadej showing no such signs. Physical conditioning no doubt. The Ecuadorian was easily overtaken with 190 meters to go and eventually finishing third, Tadej really calling his bluff yesterday. Jonas Vingegaard finishing in the silver, great effort from the Dane.