Cycling News

Derek Gee takes third place in wild Tour de France gravel stage

Derek Gee takes third place in wild Tour de France gravel stage

Derek Gee came third in Sunday’s gravel stage of the 111th Tour de France, having been in the day’s breakaway on the chemin blanc of the Champagne region. Gee’s big day out moved him up to ninth in the GC. Anthony Turgis emerged from the escape to triumph in Troyes. Although the Big Four skirmished in the dust, and the yellow jersey tried to put the others under pressure, there was no movement at the top of the GC.

The Course

Stage 9 offered up 14 sectors of gravel totaling 32.2 km along 199 km around Troyes. The longest sector was #5 at 4.6 km, and there was another at 4 km. The last 3-km sector was 9 km from the finish.

It was the kind of day when someone in the top 10 could plummet from it. Only 1:36 separated Pogačar from his compatriot Primož Roglič in fourth, with Remco Evenepoel and reigning champion Jonas Vingegaard between them.

It didn’t take long before Derek Gee lit out for glory in a breakaway with four others.

Gee leads the break before the first gravel section.

Things were weird for Guillaume Boivin soon after the start.

Gee’s move was brought back. The attacks and counterattacks continued on the way to Sector 12, 2-km Bligny à Bergères. Gee made it into another fugitive group, an octet that had 20 seconds on the peloton when the chemin blanc began. The Gee group emerged from the dust with a 40-second lead. It was the fastest first hour of the 111th Tour so far. The escape grew on the first categorized climb of the day. When Sector 11, 1.2-km Baroville, bit, the group was 14 strong and included Tom Pidcock. Fourteen riders attempted to bridge.

On Baroville, Visma-Lease Bike’s pressure in the peloton and crashes that made riders come to a standstill put Primož Roglič 30 seconds in arrears. Wout van Aert and Juan Ayuso were back with Roglič. By the day’s intermediate sprint, Roglič and company had sewn up the hole. With…

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