Beginning the day, the spotlight was on Thibaut Pinot, the French rider attempting to seize the opportunity for a home victory.
An aggressive final sprint marked the culmination of a day filled with high-octane tactics and attacks, with a flurry of GC contenders battling for supremacy.
The riders faced an early challenge with the daunting Ballon d’Alsace, an 11.5 km climb at 5.3%, setting the stage for what was to come.
The stage also witnessed a series of dramatic events, with a crash involving Carlos Rodriguez who showed his grit by continuing to race no matter the cuts to his face and arm.
Finally, it was Tadej Pogačar who emerged victorious, pulling clear of Vingegaard in the final 300 meters to win by several bike lengths.
Pinot’s Pursuit of Glory
Thibaut Pinot, cheered on by home fans, began the stage with high expectations.
The French rider’s dream of stage victory initially seemed within reach as he led the breakaway group alongside teammate Valentin Madouas. Fans lined the roadsides, shouting Pinot’s name and hoping for a fairy-tale finish.
However, the dream slowly started to slip away as Pinot began to lose pace.
Pinot’s quest for a stage victory was not to be, despite his valiant efforts.
“Finally, I feel like myself again”
In the aftermath of the thrilling stage, Pogačar revealed his satisfaction with the day’s result.
“Today, I finally feel like myself again. It was just really good from the start to the finish to feel good again after many days [of] suffering“.
Pogačar’s victory in Stage 20 was not just an individual feat, but a testament to the collective efforts of the UAE team. Regardless of the demanding last few days on the bike, the team managed to support Pogačar’s push for the stage win.
This included Adam Yates‘ notable efforts in the final kilometers, riding in support of Pogačar at the front of the lead quintet.
Looking ahead, Pogačar is poised for more victories in the second part of the season, but for now, the champion echoes the sentiment of many riders when he laughs and says: “No, let’s go home.”
Despite finishing behind Pogačar, Vingegaard’s performance was strong enough to confirm his overall win of the Tour de France, barring any unexpected incidents in the final stage in Paris.
Tour De France 2023 Stage 20 Results
1. Tadej Pogačar (UAE-Team Emirates/SLO): 3 Hours, 27 Minutes, 18 Seconds
2. Felix Gall (AG2R-Citroen/AUT): + 0 seconds
3. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma/DEN): + 0 seconds
4. Simon Yates (Jayco-AlUla/GBR): + 0 seconds
5. Adam Yates (UAE-Team Emirates/GBR): + 7 seconds
6. Warren Barguil (Arkea-Samsic/FRA): + 33 seconds
7. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ/FRA): + 33 seconds
8. Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious/SPA): + 33 seconds
9. Tobias Johannessen (Uno-X Pro Cycling/NOR): + 50 seconds
10. Rafal Majka (UAE-Team Emirates/POL): + 50 seconds
Tour De France 2023 General Classification Standings After Stage 20
1. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma/DEN): 79 Hours, 16 Minutes, 38 Seconds
2. Tadej Pogačar (UAE-Team Emirates/SLO): + 7 minutes, 29 seconds
3. Adam Yates (UAE-Team Emirates/GBR): + 10 minutes, 56 seconds
4. Simon Yates (Jayco-AlUla/GBR): + 12 minutes, 23 seconds
5. Carlos Rodriguez (Ineos Grenadiers/SPA): + 12 minutes, 57 seconds
6. Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious/SPA): + 13 minutes, 27 seconds
7. Jai Hindley (BORA-hansgrohe/AUS): + 14 minutes, 44 seconds
8. Felix Gall (AG2R-Citroen/AUT): + 16 minutes, 09 seconds
9. David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ/FRA): + 23 minutes, 08 seconds
10. Guillaume Martin (Cofidis/FRA): + 26 minutes, 30 seconds