23 August 2018
The photo-finish was necessary on arrival in Méribel, which is not trivial for a mountain stage, was it “historically” short, only 35.4 km between Moûtiers and the Savoyard resort.
It gave the victory of the 7th stage to one of the favorites of the event, the Colombian Ivan Sosa, and this success bears witness to the pressure exerted by the South American climbers in the 11 km dry climb which led to the first of four arrivals at altitude (1444 m.). But it is of extreme accuracy that the Colombian went back the American McNulty, undoubtedly a serious candidate, who had even raised the arms on the line …
And yet it is the third man, surviving the impressive undermining work of the Colombian team, who wears the yellow jersey, now on the shoulders of Slovenian Tadej Pogacar, 19 years old, obviously a size because he has already won this season a round of the UCI Nations Cup of Nations, GP Priessnitz Spa, in the Czech Republic.
In the overall standings, the young Slovenian is ahead of the American Mc Nulty of only 7 seconds, while the Colombian Sosa is 13th in the overall standings, 1’7 ”, a gap that results essentially from the modest performance of the Colombians in the team time trial (22nd while Slovenia was 8th).
Nothing is played, even if a major trio seems to have emerged in the space of an hour and dust of this race “flash” which was enough to cause a big selection.
On the French side, if Alan Riou, who had no illusions as to his ability to defend the yellow jersey on this field, lost ground (69th at 6’11 ”), the young Clément Champoussin has done well (7th) and kept the promises it raises in the optics of a “top 10” ..
The 8th stage, this Friday, is still relatively short, 81.1 km between La Bâthie and Crest-Voland where the Col des Saisies and a final climb of two kilometers awaits the peloton. Before the two major alpine stages of the final weekend.