Turgis Wins Gravel Stage at Tour de France; Pidcock Takes Second

By Score More

Troyes, France – In one of the most anticipated stages of this year’s Tour de France, French rider Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies) emerged victorious in the “gravel stage” on Sunday, July 7. The 9th stage, a grueling 199 km route starting and ending in Troyes, featured 14 sections of gravel roads, with six in the final part covering 32 km in total.

Turgis was part of a 12-man breakaway that held its lead from the first 50 km to the finish. In the end, Turgis won the sprint, beating out Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) who finished second, and Derek Gee (Israel-Premier Tech) who took third. Gee had initiated the sprint but couldn’t hold off Turgis and Pidcock.

“It’s crazy. I’ve been racing in the Tour de France for years, this is my seventh edition, always intending to win a stage,” said the 30-year-old Turgis. “I had victories at all other levels of competition but was missing one in the World Tour. Now, I have it at the Tour de France on a legendary stage. We had a great day of racing.”

“I wanted the others to take me as far as possible. It was about who played it smarter. This victory is great for the team. We came for a stage win and we got it,” Turgis added.

All the main contenders for the general classification finished together. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) retained the yellow jersey heading into the Tour’s first rest day on Monday, July 8. He leads Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) by 33 seconds and Jonas Vingegaard (Team Visma Lease a Bike) by 1 minute and 15 seconds.

Pogacar made several attacks during the stage, but his rivals responded each time. “It was a really fun race. There was a lot of sand and dust everywhere, so it was impossible to have a clear picture of the race, and you had to ride on instinct and power. I felt great legs, which is great news as this was one of the hardest stages of this Tour de France. I’m very happy with how the start of the Tour has gone for me. I feel very confident as I’m in great shape and have a very good team around me,” said Pogacar.

“I don’t know what happened during the race when I stopped for a nature break. I just know it was calm, and then somehow, I had to chase very hard with Tim (Wellens) to regain my position in the peloton. From then on, every gravel sector was full of changes – first Visma led, then we did, then Remco (Evenepoel) attacked, then I did… At some point, Remco, Jonas (Vingegaard), and I were up the road. I think it was a great opportunity for us to put some time on the rest of the GC favorites and secure the podium, but Jonas refused to cooperate. I think Visma is only focusing on me and underestimating the other GC contenders. They just follow me without thinking about Primoz [Roglic] or Remco. Later, it was a pity there was some headwind towards the finish, as it made it impossible for me to escape in the final kilometers,” added the yellow jersey holder.

Among the 12 original breakaway riders who made it to the finish were Turgis, Pidcock, Gee, and Ben Healy (EF Education-EasyPost), along with Jasper Stuyven (Lidl-Trek), who played a significant role in the finale.

As the breakaway showed signs of fatigue in the final kilometers, Stuyven launched an attack in the last gravel sector, Saint-Parres-aux-Tertres, committing to a solo effort. However, the Belgian was caught in the final kilometer. “I anticipated that Jasper would make a big attack. I tried to follow but not do too much; at the back of my mind, I was thinking: Don’t do too much and stay calm. If everything went well, I could win the sprint,” Turgis recounted.

Stuyven named the most combative rider on the stage, reflected on the race: “I tried everything, and maybe it would have been good not to have so much headwind in the final kilometers. I think I left everything out there and wanted to push a bit more at the end, but it is what it is, and it wasn’t enough. Right now, it’s hard to see the positives. I think from now on, most of the stages are sprint stages or mountain stages, so today was a very, very good chance, and I was close. I think I will have to make the most of the rest day tomorrow and maybe look to see if there are more opportunities.”

Next Stage: The 10th stage, on Tuesday, July 9, kicks off the second week of the Tour with a 187.3 km route from Orléans to Saint-Amand-Montrond. As the race passes through Issoudun, exposed roads are expected to present an additional challenge with potential crosswinds.

Upcoming Stages:

  • Stage 1: June 29 – Florence to Rimini – 206 km
  • Stage 2: June 30 – Cesenatico to Bologna – 198.7 km
  • Stage 3: July 1 – Piacenza to Torino – 230.5 km
  • Stage 4: July 2 – Pinerolo to Valloire – 139.6 km
  • Stage 5: July 3 – Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to Saint-Vulbas Plaine de l’Ain – 177.4 km
  • Stage 6: July 4 – Mâcon to Dijon – 163.5 km
  • Stage 7: July 5 – Nuits-Saint-Georges to Gevrey-Chambertin – 25.3 km (ITT)
  • Stage 8: July 6 – Semur-en-Auxois to Colombey-les-Deux-Églises – 183.4 km
  • Stage 9: July 7 – Troyes to Troyes – 199 km

Rest Day: July 8

  • Stage 10: July 9 – Orléans to Saint-Amand-Montrond – 187.3 km
  • Stage 11: July 10 – Évaux-les-Bains to Le Lioran – 211 km
  • Stage 12: July 11 – Aurillac to Villeneuve-sur-Lot – 203.6 km
  • Stage 13: July 12 – Agen to Pau – 165.3 km
  • Stage 14: July 13 – Pau to Saint-Lary-Soulan Pla d’Adet – 151.9 km
  • Stage 15: July 14 – Loudenvielle to Plateau de Beille – 197.7 km

Rest Day: July 15

  • Stage 16: July 16 – Gruissan to Nîmes – 188.6 km
  • Stage 17: July 17 – Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux to Superdévoluy – 177.8 km
  • Stage 18: July 18 – Gap to Barcelonnette – 179.6 km
  • Stage 19: July 19 – Embrun to Isola 2000 – 144.6 km
  • Stage 20: July 20 – Nice to Col de la Couillole – 132.8 km
  • Stage 21: July 21 – Monaco to Nice – 33.7 km (ITT)

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