Yates maintains 5th overall after brutal Col de la Loze finish on stage 17 at the Tour de France

Wed 16 Sep 2020

Briton Adam Yates has maintained fifth place overall after a brutal stage 17 saw the battle for the final step of the podium begin to take shape at the Tour de France.

Yates dropped off the back of the favourites group inside the final four kilometres, as Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team) put in an attack that ultimately won him the stage.

No luck again for the breakaway:
With chances running out for breakaway success, Mitchelton-SCOTT were once again active when the flag was dropped.

Chris Juul-Jensen, Jack Bauer and Esteban Chaves each tried their luck in various moves, but each failed to come to fruition.

As a group of five escaped and their moved looked to stick, Daryl Impey set off in a last-ditched pursuit, but despite getting within 20seconds the South African wasn’t able to make the junction and sat up.

Taking it up on the Madeleine
The breakaway began the first of two tough climbs with a six minute advantage, but not content with sitting behind the standard Jumbo-Visma train, Team Bahrain-McLaren took things into their own hands and stepped up the pace.

They quickly and severely reduced the advantage of the breakaway and whittled the group of favourites to 30 riders, with Yates the only Mitchelton-SCOTT representative remaining. 

Brutal Col de la Loze:
Already stripped to the strong climbers, the pace remained solid up the early slopes of the Col de la Loze.  When the race hit the unforgiving final seven kilometre section, the new bike path, the favourites played a conservative game, knowing what was still to come.

UAE Team Emirates were the first to put on the pressure, but it was the attack of Lopez that did the most damage.

The final surviving breakaway rider, Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) was caught with three kilometres still remaining, as Lopez, the yellow jersey of Primoz Roglic with Team Jumbo-Visma teammate Sepp Kuss and Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) proved stronger than the rest.

The GC picture:
With one decisive mountain stage and the individual time trial to go, Roglic holds a strong 57-second lead from Pogacar. Lopez rode himself onto the podium.

Yates passed Rigoberto Uran (EF Pro Cycling) but dropped time to Richie Porte (Trek Segafredo) to remain fifth overall.

Adam Yates:
“It is one of the first climbs that we have been really at altitude, so it was a tough day. I held on as long as I could, so I’ve got to be happy with that.

“Once we got into that last seven-kilometre section, we actually went pretty easy for that first bit, I think everybody was saving, they didn’t really know what to expect.

“UAE then started riding a really hard pace and from then on it was everyman for themselves. I just hung on for as long as I could.

“We’ve got a big stage tomorrow with a lot of altitude metres so it will be a tough day and then after that all we have got is the TT, so we’ve got one big day left in the mountains then one day all by myself. Hopefully tomorrow I have good legs and can keep trying.” 

Tour de France – Stage 17 Results:
1. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team) 4:49:08
2. Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo – Visma) +0:15
3. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +0:30
8. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +1:20

Tour de France – General Classification after Stage 17:
1. Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma) 74:56:04
2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +0:57
3. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team) +1:26
5. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +3:14

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.