Tour de France: Tadej Pogacar of the United Arab Emirates team relieves the houses of stage 16 as Konrad claims victory
Posted On July 13, 2021
Patrick Konrad took his first Tour de France victory on Tuesday with a successful long-distance attack on a soggy 16th stage, a 169 km mountain hike from Pas de la Casa, Andorra, on Tuesday.
The Bora-Hansgrohe rider broke away from a small group 36.5 km from the finish on the last significant climb of the day and never looked back as his pursuers reacted too late.
The 29-year-old crossed the finish line 42 seconds before Italian champion Sonny Colbrelli, who edged Australia’s Michael Matthews for second place.
“I had already been part of the breakaway three times and each time I waited too long,” said Konrad, the Austrian champion. “I noticed that the breakaway winners, Matej Mohoric or Bauke Mollema, were attacking far from the finish and I was inspired by that. I had decided to take the matter in hand. “
Konrad is only the third Austrian rider to win a stage on the tour after Georg Totschnig in 2005, and Max Bulla who won three stages and wore the yellow jersey for one day.
Defending UAE Team Emirates champion Tadej Pogacar retained the overall leader’s yellow jersey as the main contenders kept their powder dry before Wednesday’s dreaded 17th stage up to Col du Portet, a 16 km ascent with an average gradient of 8.7%.
To get there, they will first tackle the Col de Peyresourde (13.2 km at 7%) and the Col de Val Louron-Azet (7.4 km at 8.3%).
The Pogacar group finished Tuesday’s stage at 1:49 p.m. pace while the first positions in the general classification remained unchanged.
“Of course (my rivals) were focusing on tomorrow when everyone tries because it’s going to be the toughest day of this tour,” said Pogacar.
“If someone is feeling great tomorrow, they can make a big difference against someone who is feeling bad. I don’t know what their tactics will be (of my rivals).