Last day in the mountains is today. Two very big climbs. The only other day that will shake things up is Saturday’s time trial.
What you need to know:
Plot: Tadej Pogačar has won two straight Tours, and he’s only 23 years old. He also won the white jersey (best young rider) and the polka-dot jersey (best climber) in each of the last Tours, which is mind-blowing. But he had one stage in which he couldn’t keep up with Jonas Vingegaard, and the Danish riders has fended off all of Pogačar’s attacks so far. Pogačar’s team has dwindled through injury and illness, but yesterday, American Brandon McNulty led Pogačar up ahead of all contenders — except Vingegaard, who stuck with him until the finish.
Americans: McNulty’s analogue on Vingegaard’s team is Sepp Kuss, who has spent a lot of time at the front on the mountain stages. Nielson Powless has shown some climbing prowess and has an outside shot at moving up in the polka-dot category. Quinn Simmons has had a tendency to show up in the breakaways, but you’re more likely to see him in tomorrow’s flat stage rather than today’s.
Best way to track your favorites: Go here, put stars by your favorites (I go with the top ten in the overall standings, the top polka-dot contenders, key teammates, Americans, and people who are so far back that they might finish outside the elimination time).
The standings after Stage 17
1. Jonas Vingegaard (DEN), Jumbo-Visma
2. Tadej Pogačar (SLO), UAE Team Emirates, 2:18
3. Geraint Thomas (GBR), Ineos Grenadiers, 4:56
4. Nairo Quintana (COL), Arkéa-Samsic, 7:53
5. David Gaudu (FRA), Groupama-FDJ, 7:57
6. Romain Bardet (FRA), Team DSM, 9:21
7. Louis Meintjes (RSA), Intermarché-Wanty- Gobert Matériaux, 9:24
8. Alexsandr Vlasov (xxx), BORA-Hansgrohe, 9:56
9. Adam Yates (GBR), Ineos Grenadiers, 14:33
10. Enric Mas (ESP), Movistar Team, 16:35
Jumbo-Visma (Vingegaard): Kuss, Tiesj Benoot, Wout van Aert (has clinched green jersey but has also been a good support rider for Vingegaard)
UAE (Pogačar): McNulty
Ineos (Thomas, Yates): Dylan van Baarle, Jonathan Castroviejo, Thomas Pidcock (second to Pogačar in competition for white jersey/best young rider)
Polka-dot (top climber) jersey)
- Simon Geschke (GER), Cofidis, 64 points
- Vingegaard, 52
- Pogačar, 46
- Giulio Ciccone (ITA), Trek-Sagafrado, 41
- Louis Meintjes (RSA), Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert, 39
- Neilson Powless (USA), EF Education First-EasyPost, 37
The two hors categorie climbs each have these points available: 20–15–12–10–8–6–4–2.
In between, there’s one Category 1 climb, with these points: 10–8–6–4–2–1.