Roglič pads Tour de France lead as Bernal cracks in Massif Central climbing showdown

Friday’s stage in the Massif Central might prove to be a decisive one in the 2020 Tour de France yellow jersey race as Primož Roglič extended his lead and Egan Bernal cracked on the Puy Mary. From the day’s large breakaway, Colombian Dani Martinez of EF Pro Cycling beat out two Bora-Hansgrohe Germans. There was a major GC reshuffling.

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The Course

There were seven climbs spread evenly across 191.5 km from Châtel-Guyon to Pas de Peyrol (Le Puy Mary). In the final 15-km riders faced Cat. 2 Col de Neronne, a 3.8-km, 9.1 percent ascent with bonus seconds on offer at its crest; 5.5 km of flat and descent; and then the 5.4 km, 8.1 percent Puy Mary, its final two kilometres 2 km at 10 percent.

Huge Breakaway

The early action was frantic, with multiple attacks in the attempt to join a breakaway. Even Thibaut Pinot tried to get in on the fun, surging up the road on the Cat. 1 Col de Ceyssat. By the Cat. 3 Col de Guéry at the 63-km mark, the three groups up the road merged to create a 17-man gang, including Julian Alaphilippe and Martinez with two teammates.

At the 88 km mark, there was a crash in the peloton that caused 13th-place Bauke Mollema to abandon the race.

The day’s winner would certainly come from the raft of escapees, who tipped over the Cote de l’Estiade with a 9:00 lead to the yellow jersey group.

Neilson Powless and Max Schachmann cheerfully bolted from the breakaway before the Col de Neronne.

Schachmann left his pink-clad pal on the Neronne, the German bobble-heading towards glory. Did he ruin his chances by dropping his last hand-up bottle? The chase broke into two parts. Martinez dragged Schachmann’s teammate Lennard Kämna in the closest pursuit.

Le Puy Mary

Ineos mobbed the front of the yellow jersey group on the Neronne. Third place Guillaume Martin and fourth place Romain Bardet, the latter of whom had crashed earlier with Mollema and Nairo Quintana, dropped away. With 7 km to go, Jumbo-Visma was preeminent at the front.

Schachmann dangled tantalizingly just ahead of Martinez on the Puy Mary. The Colombian made the junction with 1.6 km remaining. As expected, Kämna attacked but Martinez, sporting an Alaphilippe-style goatee, had his measure. Schachmann made it back to them.

Kämna tried to break Martinez with 150-km to go, but the Colombian came around him to earn the win.

Behind, an attack by Tadej Pogačar revealed Bernal’s vulnerability. Roglič found his countryman’s wheel.

The Slovenians put the hammer down on the Puy Mary.

Richie Porte, Angel Lopez and Mikel Landa were the Slovenians’ closest pursuers. Roglič and Pogačar crossed the line 37-seconds ahead of Bernal. Pogačar is now second and Bernal third. Roglič’s lead went from 21-seconds over Bernal to 44-seconds ahead of Pogačar. Martin and Bardet dropped right out of the top-10.

Saturday’s route looks like another one for the breakaway.

2020 Tour de France Stage 13
1) Dani Martinez (Colombian/EF Pro Cycling)
2) Lennard Kämna (Germany/Bora-Hansgrohe)
3) Max Schachmann (Germany/Bora-Hansgrohe)

2020 Tour de France GC
1) Primož Roglič (Slovenia/Jumbo-Visma) 56:34:35
2) Tadej Pogačar (Slovenia/UAE-Emirates) +0:44
3) Egan Bernal (Colombia/Ineos Grenadiers) +0:59
4) Rigoberto Uran (Colombia/EF Pro Cycling) +1:10
5) Nairo Quintana (Colombia/Arkea-Samsic) +1:12
6) Angel Lopez (Colombia/Astana) +1:31
7) Adam Yates (Great Britain/Mitchelton-Scott) +1:42
8) Mikel Landa (Spain/Bahrain-McLaren) +1:55
9) Richie Porte (Australia/Trek-Segafredo) +2:06
10 Enric Mas (Spain/Movistar) +2:54

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