Double blow for Jai Hindley, bat for Tadej Pogacar in Laruns

“Tadej, what are we doing? » The peloton covered only a few tens of kilometers during this 5And stage of the Tour de France, Wednesday July 5, that Tadej Pogacar and his teammates are already in a meeting. A few hours later, upon arrival in Laruns (Pyrénées-Atlantiques), the UAE Emirates team must be wondering what fell on their head. Adam Yates handed over the yellow jersey to the day’s winner, Australian Jai Hindley. The Slovenian is already almost a minute behind his main rival, Jonas Vingegaard in the general standings.

Read also Tour de France 2023: Relive Jai Hindley’s victory at Laruns

Unsurprisingly, the start of the day was hectic. The riders were making their first foray into the mountains and many of them wanted to slide in the breakaway. Among these, several Jumbo-Visma, the formation of the Danish winner of the 2022 edition and also this year’s great favorite. Also Jai Hindley. And the Australian of Bora-Hansgrohe, winner of the Giro d’Italia last year, is a candidate for yellow in Paris.

Present at the front for most of the 163 kilometers from Pau to Laruns, he ended up getting rid of his last companion, the Austrian Felix Gall (AG2R-Citroën), two kilometers from the top of the Col de Marie-Blanque (7.7 kilometers at 8.6%, 1d category), the last climb of the day. The 27-year-old climber offers himself a first success on the Grande Boucle since his first participation. “It’s incredible, I have no words. Boys [de l’équipe] they shouted on the radio”, he said.

Hectic pace in the group

On Wednesday evening, the Australian’s smile contrasted with the despondency of Tadej Pogacar. The double winner of the event (2020, 2021) already accuses 1 min 40 behind the leader of the general classification, to whom he now points in 6And position. But more than the Bora-Hansgrohe driver, it is his runner-up, Jonas Vingegaard, who the Slovenian has in his sights. The latter already showed a considerable delay of 53 seconds on his Danish rival.

Determined not to let any pretender to the podium take off in this stage, his men nevertheless imposed a frantic pace on the group… “We put pressure on the UAE team, who raced all day to keep an acceptable distance [avec Jai Hindley] »explained Wout van Aert, on the front line for a very long part of the day and elected fighter of the day.

However, by the same admission of its sporting director, Grischa Niermann, Jumbo-Visma had no plans to embark in his wake a general classification favorite like Jai Hindley – “I improvised and found myself in this group”he also specified the winner of the day. “The plan was to have several boys on the run, argued Jonas Vingegaard. When [les équipiers de Pogacar] started picking up the pace on the last climb, I felt I had good legs. I told Sepp Kuss to go ahead. He did and then I decided to attack. »

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