Matej Mohoric wins longest Tour stage
At the end of what was a difficult first week of the Tour de France, Matej Mohoric gave Team Bahrain Victorious a first reason to celebrate. In what was the longest stage of this year’s edition, Mohoric first went chasing KOM points and ended up as a deserving stage winner.
On the seventh day of this year’s Tour de France the riders were facing the longest stage of this edition, measuring no less than 249.1 kilometers. But this distance did not seem to worry the riders as the attacks came right from the start and more than 51 kilometers were covered in the first hour of fierce racing. It was also in the first hour of racing that a 29-rider breakaway took shape, with Matej Mohoric representing Team Bahrain Victorious in that group. At the intermediate sprint after 115 kilometers, Matej Mohoric gave a first sample of his form by sprinting to 3rd place. With about 87 kilometers to go the Slovene accelerated away from the breakaway to get his first KOM points atop a category 3 climb. As it turned out this acceleration laid the foundation for a memorable stage win.
At first Brent Van Moer was the only rider capable of getting back to Matej Mohoric. A full 40 kilometers later on, Jasper Stuyven and Victor Campenaerts managed to jump to the race leaders as well. But Matej Mohoric dropped all of his companions on the demanding final 20 kilometers to celebrate a win that was as undisputed as it was highly emotional. At the same time he took over the Polka Dot Jersey for the best climber and he was awarded with the Prix Antargaz for the day’s most active rider. As for the overall standings, he moved up by no less than 29 places to 4th. With this stage win Mohoric also completed the Grand Tour mini slam, winning at least one stage in all three Grand Tours. Interestingly Mohoric already managed to win the longest stage in the 2017 edition of the Vuelta a España and in the 2018 edition of the Giro d’Italia.
After what had been a difficult start into the Tour de France the stage win by Matej Mohoric came as a welcome consolation for Team Bahrain Victorious. Throughout the first two stages riders of the team had been involved in a series of pile-ups. Still Jack Haig as the team’s designated captain for the overall standings managed to finish these stages in 4th and 10th place, respectively. But bad luck struck hard in the frantic finale of the third stage when Jack Haig could not avoid a crash on the wet, narrow and winding roads. The Australian went down hard, broke his left collarbone and suffered a concussion. Just as before at the Giro d’Italia, Team Bahrain Victorious lost its designated captain early on. And just like in Italy, the team showed a strong reaction and some proper character in France by taking a stage win.
108TH TOUR DE FRANCE
STAGE 7: VIERZON - LE CREUSOT, 249.1KM
1. Matej Mohoric, SLO/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, in 5:28.20 hours
2. Jasper Stuyven, BEL, + 1.20
3. Magnus Cort, DEN, + 1.40