Today was the first proper mountain top finish at the Tour de France. The stage was 184km long and most of it took place in Spain, in the autonomous area of Catalonia. The final climb was Arcalis in the country of Andorra, a hors category climb, one of the hardest climbs in the Tour. There was a turbulent start with constant attacks, followed by a large group, which got away with Tom Dumoulin. They managed to increase their advantage to a maximum of nine minutes with Team Sky setting the pace at the front of the peloton.
Towards the Arcalis, the highest point of the Tour and the fifth ascent of the day, Tom attacked and climbed at a steady pace to enjoy an one minute advantage on the first chasers, halfway through the climb. In extreme weather conditions, Tom was able to stay away, to the mountaintop finish to win his first stage at the Tour de France.
Tom Dumoulin gave his reaction: “To win the queen stage of the Tour de France here in Andorra is just fantastic. If somebody had told me a few days ago that I would win today I would have said they were crazy. Throughout the stage, I was starting to feel better and I saw the opportunity to join the break as my legs were feeling really good.
“It didn’t matter to me that it was raining on the final ascent, I was just determined to do my best and I barely noticed the weather conditions. I was just in the suffering mode and completely focused on my effort. I am super happy with this performance.
“The first week of the Tour didn’t go too well at all and I was not feeling particularly content with my performances but my team kept my spirits up. So now I have won one of the toughest stages of the Tour and I am very proud of myself and the whole team.”