Dylan Teuns wins first stage in the Alps
Just one day after Matej Mohoric’s stage win, Team Bahrain Victorious got to celebrate again at the Tour de France. After a very active race by the riders in red and black, Dylan Teuns crossed the finish line in Le Grand Bornand as solo winner. Wout Poels took over the polka dot jersey from Mohoric, and the team leapfrogged into the lead in the team classification.
Measuring 151 kilometers the first mountain stage of this year’s Tour de France was not particularly long. But it packed three cat1 climbs in short succession into the conclusive 50 kilometers, and to make matters worse it was raining from start to finish. After a first attack by Thomas De Gendt had been neutralized, Wout Poels counterattacked and got away on his own. But when the peloton split into two pieces and the speed went up considerably, the Dutchman was brought back. At the intermediate sprint 44.5 kilometers into the stage the riders of Team Bahrain Victorious flexed their muscles for a first time: Sonny Colbrelli won the sprint, with Fred Wright following in 3rd and Matej Mohoric in 5th.
Soon after Wout Poels went on the attack again on the lower slopes of the first categorized climb of the day. The Dutchman took the full points at this climb and the following cat4 climb, riding on his own. With 56 kilometers to go, he reduced his pace a bit to drop back to the chasing group, but he still was fresh enough to win the full points atop the cat1 Côte de Mont-Saxonnex with an attack from that breakaway. On the following cat1 climb Michael Woods attacked and dropped all others. Wout Poels paced his effort well and reached the top of the following cat1 climb in 2nd, scoring a lot of points again. But on the Col de la Colombière as the final climb of the day Wout Poels had no choice but to let the fastest rivals speed away from him. In his stead another rider of Team Bahrain Victorious moved up one position after another with Dylan Teuns, and sure enough the Belgian rider managed to get back to Michael Woods.
Dylan Teuns dropped Woods on the last kilometer of the climb. In his wake Tadej Pogacar was closing in at a high pace, passing Woods before the top of the pass and taking plenty of KOM points to keep Wout Poels in the polka dot jersey. On the following descent to Le Grand Bornand Dylan Teuns made no mistakes on the wet roads, and a consequence the Belgian rider of Team Bahrain Victorious won the first mountain stage of this year’s Tour de France, just as he had done back in 2019, and as a solo winner he got to enjoy the moment to the full. For Team Bahrain Victorious this was the second stage win in succession, and the team also managed to keep the polka dot jersey in its ranks. With Wout Poels in 5th and Pello Bilbao in 16th, two more riders contributed to the strong team effort in this first mountain stage, and as a consequence Team Bahrain Victorious took back the lead in the team classification.
For Dylan Teuns this stage win came as a redemption: «Until now I’ve had a difficult year, with goals I never came close to achieving, so this stage win is amazing, really. The fight for the KOM jersey and the stage win was both complicated and tough. And of course I was told over the radio how quickly Pogacar was closing in. But I was confident to make it to the top of the climb on my own and not to be caught on the descent to the finish anymore. On the top of the pass the fans were so loud that I could not understand the messages - maybe it was better like that because Pogacar had closed down the gap to only 12 seconds at that point.»
108TH TOUR DE FRANCE
STAGE 8: OYONNAX - LE GRAND-BORNAND, 150.8KM
1. Dylan Teuns, BEL/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, in 3:54.41 hours
2. Ion Izagirre, ESP, + 0.44
3. Michael Woods, CAN, + 0.47
BEST CLIMBERS’ CLASSIFICATION AFTER 8 STAGES:
1. Wout Poels, NED/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, 23 points
2. Michael Woods, CAN, 20 points
3. Dylan Teuns, BEL/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, 12 points
TEAM CLASSIFICATION AFTER 8 STAGES:
1. TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS in 89:03.04 hours
2. Astana-Premier Tech, + 15.34
3. Team Jumbo-Visma, + 18.27