TdF Daily: One last try before Paris

We gave it our all on the Tour’s final mountain stage

July 22, 2023

Tomorrow, the Tour de France will come to a close with its traditional grand finale on the Champs-Élysées in Paris.

Today, we attacked once again to try to finish this race’s final mountain stage with the win that we have been going for all Tour, but heart, imagination, and grit couldn’t beat the odds.

Down to five men, who are battered and exhausted after 19 days of racing across the mountains and fields of France, we sent Rigo and Neilson up the road on the off chance that they might stay ahead of the GC contenders, who were determined to use their teams to bring the race back together for a final showdown.

Stage 19 finished on Le Markstein Fellering, deep in the Vosges mountains in the Alsace. First, the peloton had to cross six cols, packed with enormous crowds of people who had hiked or cycled up into the woods to watch the peloton.

There wasn’t much of a peloton left after the first climb. The race soon exploded into groups of exhausted racers on the steep, narrow roads that wound through the Alsatian forests. Most of the riders left in this Tour are on their last legs, including Rigo and Neilson, who both used their racing instincts to get ahead in promising groups and then rode with all the strength they had left in them, but couldn’t hold off the chase from behind that was led by the white and yellow jerseys.

Soon, our guys will be proud of the grit that they and their teammates showed today and throughout this Tour de France. Right now, they are just tired and looking forward to riding onto the Champs-Élysées.

Rigoberto Urán

It was a hard day. We still tried. Neilson went at the start, and I then got into the break, but we were completely out of battery. We’ve lost our strength. We suffered a lot in the break, but the most important thing is that we tried every single day. You feel good when you have tried, you fought, and you were in there, but if you don’t have the legs, it doesn’t matter.

Neilson Powless

The suffering is over. I raced with everything that I had in me the first 35k and got into a pretty good move, but just ran out of energy after about 35k and ended up getting dropped, so I just tried to get to the finish line as fast as possible. I raced with what I had in me.

Juanma Garate

The guys didn’t go down without a fight. They started with the idea of trying to be in the breakaway, because that was the only chance for us to try to fight for the stage win. They did it. In the end, Rigo made it. But obviously, we saw that UAE was trying to control the race for Pogacar. They controlled the race and won the race, so congrats to them, but I think that our riders did a good job to go for the opportunity that they had.

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