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Press Releases | 14.07.2019

Lukas Pƶstlberger shakes up the break on Bastille Day with bold ride on Tour de France stage 9

Most stages at the Tour de France are earmarked for certain kinds of riders, and after a week where it was possible on most days to predict who would be in contention at the end of the day, Bastille Day’s 170.5km route could be taken by anyone. There were three categorised climbs on the parcours – the hardest and longest the first category Mur d’Aurec-sur-Loire, with its 11% average gradient – but the rest of the day was undulating and demanding. The last ascent came just 12.5km from the finish and in spite of the downhill stretch to the finale, there was so much that could happen in the day that would influence the outcome. With the breakaway riders as likely to take the stage as anyone, a group formed early on and after a week of BORA-hansgrohe being the team to draw in the escape, today Lukas Pöstlberger was up there in the break to try his luck. The group of fourteen – an appropriate number for France’s national day – built a lead of more than five minutes before a fifteenth rider joined them. With only 50km covered, the lead continued to go up, hitting ten minutes, and with more than 120km of the stage completed and the time gap having gone out to almost eleven minutes, Lukas started putting some distance between himself and his peers in the break. The Austrian rider pushed on hard and looked in good form, the gap to the peloton only growing, hitting thirteen minutes in the last 30km, while Lukas maintained just under a minute on the chasers. This injection of pace had made everyone sit up and take notice and the other escapees went in pursuit, shedding half their number in the process. Catching Lukas with 15km left and subsequently dropping him, their lead was still more than fourteen minutes, making a win from this group almost certain. After the lead duo fought it out for the win and the remnants of the break crossed the line, with Lukas coming in thirteenth, it was just a matter of waiting for the peloton to come in and reflecting on the bold performance of the Austrian BORA-hansgrohe rider. With no change in both the GC and the points contest, Emanuel and Peter will be ready to fight it out on the final stage before the race’s first rest day.

 

Results

01 D. Impey               4:03:12

02 T. Benoot              +0:00     

03  J. Tratnik              +0:10 

13  L. Pöstlberger       +5:26

 

From the Finish Line

"I had a gap in the front after the downhill and after a bit of hesitation because I knew there was still a long way to go, I decided to take my chances and attack. I gave all I had in the first kilometres, then as we were approaching the climb, they were coming closer. I tried to save some energy for the climb but after they caught me, it was impossible for me to follow the attacks. Nevertheless, this is part of the race. If you don't try, you can't win." – Lukas Pöstlberger

"We were expecting there would be a big breakaway, so we jumped with different riders in the start and Lukas managed to stay with the group. As it was becoming clear the break would make it to the finish and with a lot of strong riders in there, we knew we needed to try something. After the descent, Lukas had opened a small gap, so we decided he should go for it. He's a rider that can push big gears and he really gave it his all. At one point, it looked promising but with the likes of Benoot chasing him, it was hard. Still, it was a good attempt, a strong ride from Lukas, so we have nothing to regret about it." – Enrico Poitschke, Sports Director

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