Alberto Contador : "Nous allons voir si Tadej Pogacar a un vrai rival" lors de la 11e étape, qui s'achève par le Granon

Alberto Contador : “Nous allons voir si Tadej Pogacar a un vrai rival” lors de la 11e étape, qui s’achève par le Granon

It was an amuse-bouche. The kind difficult to digest for those who do not like the drop, certainly. Tuesday in the direction of Megève, there was no question of fighting for the coronation. “We knew that this stage would be too easy to attempt anything concerning the general classification“¸ synthesizes Grischa Niermann, sports director of the Jumbo-Visma. But Wednesday, change of scenery. The arrival at the top of the Col du Granon is a pivotal moment, eagerly awaited by our consultant, Alberto Contador.

I think this 11th stage is even more important than Thursday’s, with the famous finish at the top of Alpe d’Huezconsider El Pistolero. This is where the race can be played, everything can change“According to him, we will finally know if the Tour de France 2022 is destined to keep us in suspense until its epilogue, on July 24. Or not. “We will see if Pogacar has a real rival“, sums up the 39-year-old former Spanish rider, while Tadej Pogacar will experience a fifth day in yellow on this Tour on Wednesday.

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11.3km at 9.2%

Contador does not cite Jonas Vingegaard, but in addition to his status as the closest threat to the double title holder among the favorites (3rd at 39 seconds), the Jumbo-Visma rider has the memory of the previous Grande Boucle for him. Last year, he had loosened “Pogi” in the last hectometres of Ventoux. The Tour seemed already played, in favor of the Slovenian, but this moment when he had lowered his head in the face of the Dane’s acceleration is a hope to which lovers of suspense cling.

Pogacar seems superior to Vingegaard everywhere… except maybe at very high altitudes, on long and steep climbs. This is precisely the menu of the day. The victory will be awarded at 2413 meters above sea level, after an ascent of 11.3 km at 9.2% average gradient. The Granon does not enjoy the slightest prestige with the general public, but it is difficult to compete with its difficulty. “He is extremely hard“, according to our expert, although not really allergic to steep roads.

The profile of the 11th stage: Duel at (very) high altitude

“A last long and brutal pass”, Pogacar saliva

It’s a very tough climb, one of the toughest I’ve seen“, abounds Vingegaard, while Pogacar has”excited to be there“and speaks of a”beautiful stage, with a last long and brutal pass”. All the more brutal, as even before climbing this forgotten giant, the runners will have to face the Télégraphe-Galibier sequence. This is the first big meeting in the mountains. “The speed at which previous climbs will be climbed can make the Granon even more complicated“, noted the accountant.

The winner of the 2007 and 2009 editions of the event slips, by way of conclusion: “Teams like Jumbo-Visma may send runners up front, Primoz Roglic for example, and thus put Pogacar under pressure. ” Still without naming Vingegaard. But the message is quite clear. Wednesday’s work will probably tell us more about the duel between the winner of the 2021 Tour and his runner-up. If there is a duel.

The profile of the Col du Granon: 11.3 km at 9.2% and a continuous hell at very high altitude

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