When Bob Jungels began his attack with 65 kilometres to ride, it looked like an ambitious move doomed to fail. Especially with a climb to come and Thibaut Pinot in the same group. The Luxembourger was able to push on and keep the gap steady to take his first Tour de France stage victory. It was the first win for a rider from Luxembourg since Andy Schleck’s victory on the Col du Galibier in 2011.
Jungels was able to revel in his victory in the last kilometre, sitting up and stretching before punching the air in celebration of his victory. He would finish 22 seconds ahead of Ineos Grenadier rider Jonathan Castroviejo and a further 4 seconds ahead of Movistar’s Carlos Verona.
It has been a tough time in recent years for Bob Jungels, back problems curtailed his time at Quickstep before suffering a head injury at the start of last season. Surgery saw him miss out on the Tour de France the Olympics too.
“It’s hard to say what I feel right now. I’m just overwhelmed to be honest. This is huge, this is what I came here for. After a couple of years struggling, a very tough last year with surgeries and everything, also to take the victory this way, it’s my style of racing, my style of taking the victory.
So I’m super happy, I saw the shape was getting better day by day but to do something like this… I knew I had to try it from far because on the last climb it wasn’t possible to ride away from the favourites.”Bob Jungels
Behind Jungels, Team UAE Emirates had worked hard all day to never quite close the gap to the lead group. It was enough to ensure that Tadej Pogačar retained the yellow jersey heading into the rest day. A sprint with rival Jonas Vingegaard saw Pogačar take the bragging rights but keep the time gaps between the pair the same. They both gained 3 seconds on all of their other rivals, however.
“The team is really, really strong, they showed each of them that they just keep getting stronger. Today, the last couple of days also proved that we can control this race. So I’m super happy and proud.”Tadej Pogačar
Today, Monday, is a rest day. Tuesday’s 10th stage will see four categorised climbs on the 148.1-kilometre long stage from Morzine Les Portes Du Soleil to Megève.