Luis León Sánchez has 50 meters left, Pogacar has 11 seconds left

He caressed it.

12 July 2022 Tuesday 13:02
7 Reads
Luis León Sánchez has 50 meters left, Pogacar has 11 seconds left

He caressed it. She already saw the goal. In the same final stretch. It was time for victory. He already imagined raising his arms. As in Foix, in 2012. As in Saint-Flour in 2011. As in Saint-Girons in 2009. 14 years and one day after the first time in Aurillac. Perhaps the greatest stage hunter in Spanish cycling, the experienced Luis León Sánchez, at 38, could not undo the curse of the grand tours either. Not even the. He had 50 meters left.

He was overtaken in the last effort by Magnus Cort Nielsen and Nicky Schultz. He stayed very close. Even more than Castroviejo and Verona on Sunday, who never had Jungels at hand. Sánchez, who repeated in the good escape with Ion Izagirre, did really touch him. It lacked a bit of strength. But the proximity of the Alps is inspiring Spanish cyclists despite the fact that there are already 106 inglorious afternoons.

The Murcian from Bahrain was able to win twice on the same day that his footballer brother, Pedro León, announced that he was signing for his hometown team, Murcia. In the long and stretched ascent to the Megève aliport, alternatives followed one another between the strongest of the breakaway. Until Luisle attacked 6 km from the finish line. He was the first to open a hole on his own.

Behind, the doubts. Ahead, perseverance. From behind, his partner Wright jumped at any spot he tried to chase. Ahead, Sánchez climbed to the block and had a fortnight of seconds. Until Jorgenson (Movistar) and Schultz (BikeExchange) went after him. And they hunted him down with two km to go.

But Luis León had not said his last word. He put himself at the wheel of the two and Van Baarle. He no longer gave more relays. Rest. He studied the terrain. And in the absence of 300 meters he started again. Now for the sprint. It seemed that the second bullet could go well. But not. He was long. Cort deprived him of the glory.

“Every year it is more difficult to win on the Tour. It goes a thousand miles an hour. Whether we're fine or not, we'll try," said an elegant Sánchez in disappointment.

Lennard Kämna was also left composed and without a jersey. The German from Bora dreamed for much of the stage of finishing the stage in yellow. Pogacar had decided to give up the lead. Too much work for his teammates, too much pressure, too many days and too many commitments with the sponsors and on the podium.

Kämna and Bora, now that Vlasov is more than three minutes away, his team, were two ideal allies. Especially since the covid had left the Slovenian without the second gregarious. New Zealander George Bennett, one of the team's best men on the mountain, had to go home, just as Vegard Laengen did on Sunday, when he tested positive for covid. He has five left to divide the work.

A jerrycan breakaway was the solution. The fugitives were a long time above the nine minutes of advance. That is, the yellow changed back. But almost out of obligation, Pogacar kept the jersey. “Today we have worked the least”, Josean Matxín admitted the strategy of letting go of the precious garment, of giving it away. “But the acceleration of other teams due to placement more than anything has not allowed us to give up the lead. Almost unintentionally we keep it”, confessed the director of the UAE. The plan did not go as planned. Sometimes wanting is not power. Not for Pogacar.



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