Colombian climber Esteban Chaves tackled the Col du Portet today, crossing the line with a respectable 16thplace despite suffering an untimely puncture in the final as the GC group began launching attacks.
The Team BikeExchange rider received a wheel from the neutral service car, after all team cars were backup further behind the race on the narrow steep roads, before settling back into his own rhythm and finishing the 17th stage, just over four minutes down on the stage winner and race leader Tadej Pogacar.
The 30-year-old now moves up one place to 13th overall ahead of another hard day in the Pyrenees tomorrow. Australian sprinter Michael Matthews maintained his position in the green jersey competition, just 36 points off the classification lead.
“I am happy with the performance it means I arrived just four minutes behind Pogacar, the best climber here and I rode the climb all by myself, so that is a good sign.
Probably I could have climbed a couple of minutes ahead if it wasn’t for the puncture I had in that moment, it was some bad luck. I wasn’t going to win the stage but maybe that would help for the top 10 or something like that in the GC, but it is something we cannot control, that is cycling and always after the bad luck, the good luck is coming.
We have just five guys here, but we are working well, and we are really committed, and we have three more opportunities so we will try 100% and also we will continue to fight for the green jersey.”
2021 Tour de France – Stage 17 results:
1. Tadej Pogacar 5:03:31
2. Jonas Vingegaard +0:03
3. Richard Carapaz +0:04
16. Esteban Chaves (Team BikeExchange) +4:46
General Classification after stage 17:
1. Tadej Pogacar 71:26:27
2. Jonas Vingegaard +5:39
3. Richard Carapaz +5:43
13. Esteban Chaves (Team BikeExchange) +4:46
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