The flight of Superlópez

The Colombian wins the stage at Col de la Loze and removes Urán from the podium. Bahrain de Landa hardened the race without fruit. Roglic is a bit more of a leader.


Mikel Landa proposes and Primoz Roglic arranges. Bahrain made a different bet, displaced the almighty Jumbo from the head, asked for the time in the Alps, deluded the fans. In the end he could not finish, Landa was not given his legs at the moment of truth, but the attempt is appreciated. The Arab team did not collect material fruits, but tons of admiration. In the absence of the Basque, who did respond to the harshness of Col de la Loze was Miguel Ángel López, who was looking for the same goal, the stage and the podium, and achieved both. It is already third. Superman flies. Roglic didn't overwhelm, but he is the strongest. He entered second in the goal and put 17 seconds more to Tadej Pogacar, less fresh than in other mountainous days.

The Bahrain took the lead from Madeleine with a chain job that continued on Loze: Mohoric, Poels, Bilbao, Caruso ... Only the icing on the cake of Landa was missing in the final four kilometers, when the road became a wall with ramps that reached 20%. The Tour is 'vueltiza'. The Alava did not respond, but the Arab hammer did hurt. The roosters were mature. The UAE changed the third with De la Cruz in front to launch Pogacar. That's when Superlópez began its agonizing and majestic flight, that's when the race exploded into the air. A quintet was formed: López, Pogacar, Roglic and his partner Kuss, and Porte, who came in and out. But the infernal slopes no longer allowed strategies. It was pure strength.

Superman flew to embrace his first stage on the Tour, to the podium that his compatriot Rigoberto Urán occupied the day before. Behind, Roglic managed to take down his compatriot, who was about to close the gap at the end, but again succumbed on the last ramps. These percentages hurt Pogacar more, who has been hit, but not at all sunk. Missing the tremendous alpine chain this Thursday and the time-trial on Saturday.

Mikel Landa entered seventh, 1:20 behind the winner, eight seconds behind Enric Mas, who grows with the days, the Tour is going to fall short. Both maintain their places in the general: seventh and eighth, respectively. The problem is that the podium is two minutes away. But you had to try. And that merit must be recognized. Better to lose this way than to appear only in the rankings.

The hectic day had started with a great headline that did not surprise anyone. Egan Bernal left the Tour after two stages dragged. His image on Tuesday, in the first alpine stage, off the hook in the group of sprinters, announced this possibility. There were dreamy theories that suggested that, with much time lost, he could still attempt some individual feat. False expectations. Bernal has had back pain since before starting the race, which has ended up returning him home. The collapse of the Colombian forces an analysis on the decision of Ineos to leave out Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome. Possibly nothing had changed, because neither of them offered good feelings. But today it is inevitable to think about the absence of two Tour winners.

That move by Ineos that eliminated Froome and Thomas from the line-up, also incorporated Richard Carapaz as Bernal's second, as an alternative asset in case the Colombian, as has happened, did not overcome his physical problems. But the Tour choked him from the beginning, with falls, breakdowns, cuts ... With no chance in the general standings, the Ecuadorian now assumes the gallons in search of the epic, which he explored for the second day in a row. On Tuesday he qualified second at Villard de Lans and this Wednesday he resisted until the roosters devoured him with three kilometers to go to crown the terrible Col de la Loze. Carapaz could not, Landa could not. But these examples are what make cycling great. And the Tour.

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