July 11, 2023

Bilbao ends Spanish wait for Tour de France stage win

Bilbao ends Spanish wait for Tour de France stage win

Pello Bilbao won a hilly stage 10 of the Tour de France on Tuesday, becoming the first Spaniard in five years to win a stage on the world’s biggest bike race.

The main contenders for the overall title crossed the line together nearly three minutes after Bilbao. Omar Fraile was the last Spaniard to win at the Tour back in 2018.

Latvia’s Krists Neilands looked set to make it two stages in a row for Israel-Premier Tech but was finally caught by a desperate six-man pursuit.

On a baking 167km run from the volcano-themed Vulcania amusement park, the peloton laboured over five hills to the village of Issoire in Auvergne.

Billed as one of the Tour’s most beautiful stages, the pack splintered due to the intense conditions in exposed terrain on the semi-deserted hillsides along the Puy de Dome tectonic fault line.

Defending champion Jonas Vingegaard retained his 17-second lead in the overall standings but second-placed Tadej Pogacar forced the Dane into chasing him early in the stage.

Jasper Philipsen retains the green jersey ahead of stage 11, which offers the Belgian Alpecin fast man a chance at a fourth-stage win.

American Neilson Powless also held on to the polka dot jersey and will likely do so again Wednesday.