Tour de France: Pedersen times attacks to perfection as yellow jersey contenders ease off

·3-min read

Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogacar eased off in their tussle for the yellow jersey on Friday, as Mads Pedersen won stage 13 of the Tour de France in style.

Having been involved in an early breakaway lodged by Filippo Ganna, Pedersen stuck at the front of the race on the 193 kilometre route from Le Bourg-d'Oisans to Saint-Etienne.

And he made the vital move at just the right time, attacking with 12km remaining, splitting the six-man breakaway in two and leaving him up against Fred Wright (Bahrain Victorious) and Hugo Houle (Israel–Premier Tech).

Trek–Segafredo rider Pedersen attacked just as the peloton stopped racing further back, with Jumbo-Visma – protecting the yellow jersey of Vingegaard and the green jersey of Wout van Aert – INEOS Grenadiers and UAE Team Emirates comfortable enough to take a steady approach after successive days of hard riding in the mountains.

Having been denied victory in his native Denmark in the opening three stages, Pedersen always looked good to go on and end his wait for a Grand Tour stage win, and he did so in style, executing another perfectly timed effort during the final sprint to ensure he was able to celebrate while he crossed the line.

"It's incredible to finally take a win," the 26-year-old said. "I knew the shape was really good and I definitely missed out on the opportunities in the first week.

"In the last two weeks of this race there's not a lot of chances for a guy like me.

"So to take the chance today and get the reward is really nice, not only for me but for the whole team. We came here with riders only for stages and now we have one, so it's such a relief."

Van Aert came over in seventh, easily winning a bunch sprint at the front of the GC group, to further consolidate his grip on the green jersey.

Wright idea, but not enough power for Fred

It was a spirited ride from 23-year-old Wright, who kept on Pedersen's wheel right until the end.

"I was trying to get Mads to do some of the work at the end, but it's hard man, I just didn't quite have it over the top of that kicker," Wright told ITV Sport. "All I could do was hug the wheel, I was surprised I didn't get dropped to be honest."

As for his tactics in the sprint, Wright added: "I don't know, to be honest, I was just going to try and surprise him."

Wright hit a top speed of 59km/h in the final 1,000 metres, whereas Pedersen clocked in at 59.2km/h.

STAGE RESULTS

1. Mads Pedersen (Trek–Segafredo) 4:13:03
2. Fred Wright (Bahrain Victorious) same time
3. Hugo Houle (Israel–Premier Tech) same time
4. Stefan Kung (Groupama-FDJ) +0:30
5. Matteo Jorgensen (Movistar) +0:30

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 50:47:34
2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates) +2:22
3. Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers) +2:26

Points Classification

1. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) 333
2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates) 164
3. Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) 155

King of the Mountains

1. Simon Geschke (Cofidis) 43
2. Louis Meintjes (Intermarche–Wanty–Gobert Materiaux) 39
3. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 36

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