Barguil Seizes Tour de France KOM Lead!
Team Sunweb rider Warren Barguil seized control of the mountains classification at the Tour de France on Sunday with a gutsy ride on Stage 9, which was billed as the hardest stage yet in the three-week grand tour. Barguil flew up the mountains of the 181km stage from Nantua to Chambery on his TCR Advanced SL, collecting major points at the summits and coming close to winning the stage in a photo finish.
On a grueling day that featured three hors catégorie climbs and a harrowing descent from the Chat du Mont, the day’s final peak, Team Sunweb executed its plan to perfection. It put five riders in the day’s main breakaway, helping Barguil go for the mountain points and fight for the stage victory at the end. The 25-year-old Frenchman collected 12 points on the first hors catégorie climb, the Col de la Biche, followed by maximum points over the Grand Colombier and the final Chat du Mont.
“Today was an amazing day for myself and the team,” Barguil said after the finish. “We had five guys in the break, which was brilliant. After Michael [Matthews] won the intermediate sprint, the guys went full on for my chances and that gave me the confidence that I needed to climb at my best. On the Mont du Chat I did everything I could to make it to the top first, and I was really happy to be able to do that.”
After cresting the final climb on the superlight TCR Advanced SL, Barguil made use of the bike's pinpoint control by blitzing the technical descent toward the finish in Chambery, holding off the chasers at high speeds. He was eventually caught, but hung with the lead group to contest the final sprint. Charging toward the finish wearing his Giant Rev helmet, Barguil was narrowly edged out at the line by Colombian Rigoberto Urán in a photo finish.
Barguil’s big day capped a successful week of racing by Team Sunweb ahead of the first rest day on Monday. On Friday, Michael Matthews came close to a stage win, sprinting to a third place finish on Stage 7 with a next-generation, pre-production version of a Propel aero road bike with disc brakes. Matthews is in the hunt for the points classification, currently sitting third behind German leader Marcel Kittel.
Following the Tour’s first rest day on Monday, the race resumes Wednesday with Stage 10, a 178km race from Périgueux to Bergerac that should favor the sprinters.
July 9, 2017