The Tour de France resumes on Tuesday after just its second rest day on Monday, and cycling fans have plenty to look forward to this week as the race enters the gruelling stages of the Alps.
Sunday’s stage nine was won by Bob Jungels of Luxembourg as he secured his first ever Tour stage victory. The AG2R Citroen rider made his move on the penultimate categorised climb and stayed in front for over 60km. France’s Thibaut Pinot did his best to catch him but ultmately had to settle for fourth, also finishing behind Spanish pair Jonathan Castroviejo and Carlos Verona.
Tadej Pogacar finished fifth, and he is still the overall race leader, now priced at 4/9 to be crowned champion as he searches for his third successive title.
Pogacar strengthened his position in the yellow jersey as he snatched time from his general classification rivals by sprinting to the finish.
Pogacar and second-placed Jonas Vingegaard (5/2 Tour de France Outright) picked up three seconds on Britain’s Geraint Thomas (20/1) in third.
The Slovenian, who won stages 6 and 7 last week, has posted a time of 33h 43′ 44″ so far to hold a 39-second lead over Vingegaard, with Thomas a further 38 seconds back in third, only eight seconds better off than fellow Briton Adam Yates in fourth.
Belgium’s Wout van Aert has also won two stages (4 and 8) as he has amassed 284 points in the Points Classification, 135 points clear of Fabio Jakobsen with Pogacar another 10 points back in third.
Sunday’s stage belonged to Jungels, who had to miss the 2021 Tour due to injury, and he is second in the Mountains Classification on 18 points, one behind Simon Geschke.
He told reporters: “I am just overwhelmed, to be honest. This is huge. This is what I came here for. I know this means a lot for the team. After a couple of years struggling and a very tough year last year, to take the victory this way, it’s my style of racing, so I’m just super happy.
“Being in the mix and winning a stage is a big step, and today I took all the risks I could, and it happened. Thanks to my team and everyone who believed in me over the last years.”
The 2022 race resumes on Tuesday with a 148.1km ride from Morzine Les Portes du Soleil to Megeve before two demanding days in the Alps.