エディ・メルクスの記録を超えるというマーク・カヴェンディッシュの希望 34 career Tour de France stage wins were stymied in the forests of Gascony after a 20-rider breakaway moved clear of the peloton on the flat roads leading from the foot of the Pyrenees to the banks of the Dordogne.
Matej Mohoric, a stage winner in Le Creusot and among the most defiant of the Bahrain Victorious team in the aftermath of Wednesday night’s police raids on his team’s vehicles and hotel rooms, soloed clear of the remnants of the breakaway to win in Libourne.
His team is the subject of a preliminary investigation by the Central Office for the Fight against Environmental and Public Health Damage (OCLAESP), based in Marseilles.
Commenting on the raids on Friday, インクルード ツール・ド・フランス director, Christian Prudhomme said: “The Tour is the enemy of all those who cheat. The past tells us that it was often the police who exposed it. If OCLAESP has been on the Tour since 2008, it is also because they’re there for a reason.
“They are doing their job, we should not draw conclusions. I have no idea what’s going on. They’re not sending me a card to let me know. I learned about it from the press. This is part of the panoply next to the controls that exist.”
Commenting on the investigation on Thursday, Bahrain Victorious’ technical director, Vladimir Miholjevic, 前記: “We are committed to the highest level of professionalism and adherence to all regulatory requirements and will always be cooperating in a professional manner.”
With race leader Tadej Pogacar’s UAE Emirates team happy to take things easy on the eve of the final time trial, and most in the peloton recovering from toiling through the climbs of the Pyrenees, the break soon sped clear and built up a lead of over a quarter of an hour.
Mohoric, who has won stages in the Tours of Italy and Spain, made a finger-over-lips shushing gesture as he crossed the line to celebrate his win.
Saturday’s individual time trial stage means that Cavendish will have to wait until Sunday for the next sprint finish, in the Tour’s traditional finish in Paris on the Champs Élysées. It would a fitting theatre for him to surpass Merckx and to add another victory in the Tour’s showpiece climax, to his successes in 2009, 2010, 2011 そして 2012.