Tour of France | Things are stirring, but not too much damage at Groupama-FDJ

Despite falls and an accidental punch in the face, the Groupama-FDJ team of Quebecer Antoine Duchesne succeeded in its objective of keeping its leader David Gaudu well placed in the general classification of the Tour de France. Saturday, at the eighth stage presented between Dole and Lausanne (Switzerland), Gaudu finished in 12e row, at the same time as the winner, the Belgian Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), winner of a second stage in this 2022 edition.

Updated yesterday at 4:17 p.m.

Ontarian Michael Woods, teammate of Hugo Houle and Guillaume Boivin at Israel-Premier Tech, reached the finish in this same group, at 17e rank, in this ascending finale. Swell (+2 min 18 s) and 60e and Boivin 120e (+6 min 16 sec).


Wout van Aert (in green) sprinted ahead of his opponents.

Duchesne revealed he and Gaudu were caught in a crash early in the stage. Fortunately, the two made it out with scratches and were able to rejoin the peloton.

“It was a good day today, still quite fast and the fatigue is setting in a bit”, maintained the 83e of the day (+4 min 9 s). “The final (before the Olympic Stadium climb) was extremely fast and quite technical with a lot of roundabouts and probably an average of 60 km/h at the end. We placed David well, he finished well and lost nothing overall. That was the important thing. »

With 48 kilometers to go, Duchesne’s roommate Thibaut Pinot crashed on a climb. He got back in the saddle and seconds later was accidentally punched in the face by a Trek-Segafredo trainer who was reaching out to give a rider a musette. The three-time Tour stage winner was able to return to the peloton and finished his day in the same group as Hugo Houle.

Third Saturday, Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) remains in yellow thanks to a 39-second lead over Jona Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma). David Gaudu (+1 min 35 s) and Michael Woods (+7 min 56 s) are the best-placed Quebec teammates.


Tadej Pogacar

Sunday, the ninth stage will be presented on a course of 193 kilometers between Aigle and Châtel les Portes du Soleil. Three passes, including two first category, will punctuate the day.

“Tomorrow it will be a little more difficult and it will be open for breakaways and more complicated to manage,” concluded Duchesne.

Magdeleine Vallières-Mills, best Canadian with one more stage to do in the Tour of Italy

Magdeleine Vallières-Mill EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) is only one step away from completing the first major national tour of her young career. On Saturday, at the ninth stage of the Tour of Italy, the Quebecer reached the finish in 30e place (+16 min 54 s) of the mountainous route of 112 kilometers between San Michele All’Adige and San Lorenzo Dorsino.

American Kristen Faulkner (BikeExchange-Jayco) took the solo stage victory, one minute ahead of Italian Marta Cavalli (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope).

No change at the top of the general classification where the Dutch Annimiek Van Vleuten (Movistar) holds a little less than 2 minutes ahead of Cavalli. Vallières-Mill (+1 h 16 min 14 s) jumped 20 places, from 58e at 38e rank, making her the best of the four Canadians still in contention.

“I’m starting to get quite tired, but it’s okay. Even if I can’t wait for it to end, I’m enjoying it, ”said the athlete right away. “I felt good today (Saturday) and in the first climb there was an attack to make a first selection and I was able to follow it. We got caught a bit later and I held on with the leading group for quite a bit. »

Once her group was joined, the Sherbrooke resident then made the elastic with the leading group.

“On the second climb (Passo Durone ranked second category), I helped my teammates and towards the end, I was unhooked,” she continued at the end of this day of more than 2,700 meters of elevation.

Luckily, the 30 degree temperature was much more bearable than the 40 degree the peloton faced earlier this week.

The 20-year-old had experienced the Tour de l’Ardèche (2.1), a seven-stage race, two years ago, where she finished 39e. The Giro d’Italia is much tougher and she enjoys hearing the encouragement from teammates and sports directors in her headset.

“I see that I feel better and better every day and I even made power records in the first hill in the attack. So I’m really happy. […] I was a bit afraid of not being able to finish the lap, but there is only one stage left and it will be a flat 90 kilometers, so I should be correct. »

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