Tour de France: Geschke's roommate Izagirre wins the chaos stage

Beaming with joy, Simon Geschke stormed towards his roommate Ion Izagirre and cheered as if he had just won the twelfth stage of the Tour de France himself.

Tour de France: Geschke's roommate Izagirre wins the chaos stage

Beaming with joy, Simon Geschke stormed towards his roommate Ion Izagirre and cheered as if he had just won the twelfth stage of the Tour de France himself. But instead of the Freiburger, his Spanish buddy caused the coup as a breakaway in the famous Beaujolais wine-growing region.

"We get along very well. We knew he was strong, but that was a crazy stage. I completely lost track," said Geschke. For his team Cofidis it was the second day's win on this year's tour after 15 years of unsuccessful attempts.

On the final climb of the day, Izagirre attacked from a lead group. "30 kilometers was a long way to the finish, but I believed in myself. I just kept my head down and pedaled," said the 34-year-old. After the success on the 20th stage in 2016, it was his second victory on a tour. "I've been trying to get into the group the whole tour. Today it finally happened."

Favorites conserve their strength

The top favorites Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogacar rested themselves for the upcoming mountain stages, but the hunt for Belleville-en-Beaujolais was not easy. 3100 meters of altitude had to be overcome, one and a half hours of racing followed one attack after another. "Sometimes such stages are harder than high mountain stages because you ride much harder," said Geschke. "You can drive up the mountain in ten minutes faster than an hour. That makes the moderately difficult stages particularly challenging."

On Friday we head towards the Alps. The next chapter of Vingegaard and Pogacar's duel awaits in the difficult mountain finish on the Grand Colombier. There were no changes in the overall rating. Defending champion Vingegaard is 17 seconds ahead of Slovenia's Pogacar in the yellow jersey. Australia's Bora captain Jai Hindley is 2:40 back in third place.

Chaotic race with changing top groups

After the bumpy start, several drivers outdid each other with attacks that initially had no effect. It remained a chaotic race with changing top groups. Shortly before the start of the last three climbs, the field gathered around the favorites. Also there: Captain Hindley and helper Nils Politt from the German team Bora-hansgrohe. Her sporting director Rolf Aldag had previously announced to Politt on the team radio that he would not attack and stay with the Australian podium contender Hindley.

After the narrowly missed stage victories of Georg Zimmermann on Tuesday and sprinter Phil Bauhaus a day later, brilliant performances were not to be expected from the German drivers. Especially since Zimmermann's Belgian team gave his colleague Lilian Calmejane the freedom that the man from Augsburg had enjoyed before he finished second.

Overall, Geschke gave the German contingent a positive interim report. "Second and third on the tour are not bad results," said the 37-year-old of the German Press Agency. "With seven starters from a German point of view, it will definitely be difficult to win a stage," he noted.

Climbers hope for a mountain festival on the holiday

The world-renowned cycling event is halfway through. Sprinter Fabio Jakobsen will no longer experience the second part as part of the tour. The fast man from the Netherlands announced ahead of the stage that he was retiring from the Tour. He is still suffering from the effects of a fall on the fourth stage. The Spaniard David de la Cruz had to give up as the ninth rider 142 kilometers before the finish line because of a fall.

Just over 2150 of the 3405 kilometers between the start in Bilbao and Paris have been covered. On the French national holiday, the climbing specialists are hoping for a mountain festival on the Grand Colombier. After a flat start to the 13th stage on Friday near Lyon, the riders have to conquer the target mountain in the Jura Mountains at almost 1,500 meters.

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