Tour de France 2023: Kwiatkowski wins stage 13 as Pogacar grabs back seconds – as it happened | Tour de France 2023

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Jeremy Whittle is on the scene. Here’s his stage 13 report:

And c’est ça for today. Thank you for reading, emailing, tweeting, and see you next time. Au revoir.

Again, what a display by Michal Kwiatkowski today. A classy rider and an even classier person.

The individual time trial, somewhat strangely, comes on Tuesday, stage 16, the day after the rest day. It definitely looks like advantage Pogacar, overall, but there is plenty of racing to come.

Tour de France stage 16
Tour de France stage 16

With Tadej’s advantage in the time trial, strategically he is already in yellow,” emails Scott. “So UAE tactics today could be viewed as defending yellow by keeping a high pace and preventing a Vingegaard attack.”

The old Brucie Bonifications. So important!

Grischa Niermann, one of the Jumbo-Visma sports directors, speaks to Eurosport: “Unfortunately Jonas lost a bit of time, four seconds and four seconds of bonifications … but it was still a good day.

“It’s possible we will be fresher [after UAE Team Emirates used so much energy] … but everyone had a tough day today. It was good for us that there were not 10 bonus seconds on offer in the end. We keep on fighting. I don’t think today made a big difference.

“Of course, we have a plan. Unfortunately I can’t share it with you.”

William Fotheringham’s guide to the next two stages is here, plus the profiles:

Stage 14, Saturday 15 July: Annemasse-Morzine, 152km

The stage 14 battleground, the Col de Joux Plane, is long, and steep, with the final 6km all about 10%; it’s followed by one of the Tour’s trickiest descents to the finish. With climbing right from the start, the break will go early and may well contest the finish. A good chance for riders such as Mikel Landa, but the final descent has Pidcock written all over it.

Stage 14
Stage 14

Stage 15, Sunday 16 July: Les Gets-Saint Gervais Mont Blanc, 179km

Again there is climbing all day; four classified climbs and several unclassified ones, before an uphill finish where France’s Romain Bardet won in 2016, and where most of the damage will be done on the initial kilometres to Les Amerands, where the gradient reaches 18%. David Gaudu is the rider French fans will expect to emulate Bardet, but if the overall contenders get involved that will be a big ask.Stage 14, Saturday 15 July: Annemasse-Morzine, 152km

The stage 14 battleground, the Col de Joux Plane, is long, and steep, with the final 6km all about 10%; it’s followed by one of the Tour’s trickiest descents to the finish. With climbing right from the start, the break will go early and may well contest the finish. A good chance for riders such as Mikel Landa, but the final descent has Pidcock written all over it.

Stage 15
Stage 15

I guess the worst-case scenario for UAE Team Emirates there was that it turned out Vingegaard was stronger on the final kick to the line, and took a few seconds back for himself … however, as the race hits the Alps, Pogacar’s team have definitively shown they intend to go on the offensive. It will be interesting to see how their legs hold up tomorrow, and the day after …

Dancing in the streets of Ineos Grenadiers this evening:

We tried to control on the flat,” Adam Yates, of UAE Team Emirates, tells Eurosport. “It wasn’t easy, because it was a big break. We took it up on the climb … I haven’t seen the result, but I think we did well as a team. Two more days tomorrow.”

Top 10 on stage 13

1) Michal Kwiatkowski 3hr 17min 33sec
2) Maxim Van Gils +47sec
3) Tadej Pogacar +50sec
4) Jonas Vingegaard +54sec
5) Tom Pidcock +1min 03sec
6) Jai Hindley +1min 05sec
7) James Shaw +1min 05sec
8) Harold Tejada +1min 05sec
9) Simon Yates +1min 14sec
10) Adam Yates +1min 18sec

Vingegaard now leads overall by nine seconds

Pogacar’s late attack, with the four bonus seconds for finishing third on the day, means he takes eight second back in the overall race.

It was perhaps surprising that Pogacar didn’t attack sooner. But maybe he just didn’t feel good.

Top three on GC:

1) Jonas Vingegaard 53hr 48min 50sec
2) Tadej Pogacar +9sec
3) Jai Hindley +2min 51sec

Kwiatkowski speaks after a magnificent victory.

The first question is about winning the stage his own: “I had 18 friends in the break,” he replies. “Obviously I had a nice advantage on the final climb … it was a crazy experience, to be honest. When I entered the break, I thought: it’s a free ticket to the bottom of the climb. But I never thought this group would fight for the stage win, because UAE were riding hard. But I guess it’s hard to catch 20 guys rotating on the front for nearly 100km. Crazy.”

What were the discussions on the team bus this morning? “We just didn’t want to miss any big breakaway … every day we were trying to go in the big moves … I think they (UAE) just let too many guys in the front. I just found the best legs I ever had in my life. I didn’t believe that that’s possible, but here I am …

“The last effort was one of the hardest in my life, but I managed myself well, I paced myself well … without the fans, I guess that wouldn’t have been possible. I didn’t have the [Team Ineos] car behind me, and I couldn’t really hear what was happening. The fans were amazing, they were driving me to the finish. Amazing feeling.”

Kwiatkowski managed an average speed of 22.1km/h on the Grand Colombier. Massive!

Top five on stage 13:

1. Michal Kwiatkowski
2. Maxim van Gils
3. Tadej Pogacar
4. Jonas Vingegaard
5. Tom Pidcock

The exhausted peloton begins to trickle across the finish line. Only two more mountain stages before Monday’s rest day …

Vingegaard wil stay in yellow, but will have lost something like 7sec to Pogacar. So he should still lead the overall race by 10sec.

Perhaps not that much to show for all the effort that UAE Team Emirates put in?

Pidcock comes across the finish line, and gives his teammate Kwiatkowski a big hug.

Pogacar stands up on the final slopes of Grand Colombier, and puts in a devastating attack … Vingegaard responds, and manages to stick with the Slovenian … but eventually Pogacar distances him! He crosses the line a handful of seconds ahead of Vingegaard, the reigning champion.

Here goes Pog …

Michal Kwiatkowski wins stage 13!

An absolutely phenomenal performance from the Polish rider for Team Ineos. Incredible.

1km to go: Flamme rouge for Kwiatkowski! He has 1min 07sec. And he is still looking supremely strong. WHAT a ride!

What kind of drama will we see among the GC riders?

1.2km to go: Iga Swiatek is watching, and cheering on her compatriot:

2km to go: Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) attacks from the yellow jersey group. Sepp Kuss covers the attack. Pogacar and Vingegaard are on Kuss’s wheel.

Still more than a minute for Kwiatkowski!

2.5km to go: Zimmerman and Mohoric are bringing up the rear, behind the three chasers who are closest to the lone leader, Kwiatkowski.

It’s impossible to overstate what an impressive ride this is by Kwiatkowski. The smart money was on the GG guys catching today’s break, but the size of it (20 riders to start with) clearly allowed “Kwiato” to save enough energy for this utterly draining final climb.

3.5km to go: Kwiatkowski continues to dominate that chase group. He has 1min 05sec, and 2min 11 sec on the maillot jaune group.

4.5km to go: Rafal Majka takes it up for UAE Team Emirates. Is Pogacar not feeling good? You’d think he may have attacked by now if he was feeling full of beans …

5km to go: Kwiatkowski continues his seemingly serene progress. He is holding that gap to the chasers – they simply cannot make inroads and his lead is 57sec.

It’s 2min 18sec between Kwiatkowski and the chasing yellow jersey group.

6km to go: Kwiatkowski has 55sec on the three chasers: Tejada, Van Gils and Shaw.

The yellow jersey group is 2min 23sec back.

6.3km to go: Whatever happens, Pogacar is surely going to attack at some point? The question is when. The stage win looks likely to be gone at this rate …

6.5km to go: Kwiatkowski on the attack.

7km to go: Vingegaard sticks with his man-marking job on Pogacar. Pogacar is riding directly behind three teammates.

Up front, Kwiatkowski’s lead is 53sec. Unless he hits a wall, he is looking very good for a famous win.

7.5km to go: Will we see a ceasefire between Pogacar and Vingegaard back down the mountain? UAE have certainly put plenty of effort into this day so far. They will want something to show for it. Rafal Majka is up there. Thibaut Pinot is labouring on the climb. There will be no French glory today … Kwiatkowski’s lead falls back slightly to 51sec.

7.8km to go: Now a WHOLE MINUTE for Kwiatkowski! This is an insanely strong ride.

8km to go: It is going to take something special to bring back a rider of Kwiatkowski’s class. Suddenly, his advantage over the chasers is 45sec. The Polish rider is 33, but has always been in top shape, riding in the past few years mainly as a super-domestique for Sky/Ineos.

8.5km to go: Kwiato’s lead falls slightly to 36sec. He is being roared on by the fans on the roadside, who have been waiting patiently for the riders’ arrival.

10km to go: Marc Soler is grimacing on the front of the peloton at the front of a line of UAE Team Emirates. Clearly, Pogacar’s team are being told to give this all they’ve got. This is looking very good for Kwiatkowski as it stands … He has 38 sec now on the chasers! And still 3min 10sec on the peloton.

10.7km to go: Kwiatkowski has 29sec. Massive effort. The gap is still 3min 11sec back to the bunch.

I interviewed Kwiatkowski back in 2018 and he told me he thought he could ride for GC at the Tour one day.

11.2km to go: Kwiatkowski, a road race world champion in 2014 and the winner of Milano-Sanremo and Strade Bianche in 2017, has 15sec already!

Michal Kwiatkowski: Going for the win.
Michal Kwiatkowski: Going for the win. Photograph: David Ramos/Getty Images