Tour de France: Georg Zimmermann misses the first stage win behind Pello Bilbao

Status: 07/11/2023 5:34 p.m

On a hectic 10th stage, Georg Zimmermann sprinted for the stage win in a lead group of six in Issoire. In the last few meters, however, his dream of his first Tour de France success was shattered on Tuesday (07/11/2023). After 167.2 kilometers in Issoire, Zimmermann was only beaten by stage winner Pello Bilbao. There were no changes in the fight for the yellow jersey.

The German professional cyclist Zimmermann tried to make the decision with an attack one kilometer before the end. However, he was caught up shortly afterwards, and in the sprint he lacked the last strength to distance Bilbao.

The disappointment of having missed the biggest goal of my career is currently greater than the joy of second placesaid Zimmerman.I stepped in too thick a corridor, maybe that was a mistake. I knew Bilbao was fast, I lost a sprint against him in Stuttgart before.”

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Hectic start with many unsuccessful attacks

After the rest day, an enormous number of riders had apparently picked out this hilly stage with five mountain classifications (four times third and one second category). The first attacks came right from the start, but the peloton didn’t let the breakaways do their thing. Evidence of this is that Wout van Aert also failed to build up a lead – the exceptional Jumbo Visma driver had successfully torn away several times in the first week of the tour.

The first sustained attack came after about 35 kilometers when a group of seven was able to break away. Also present was Georg Zimmermann, who wanted to win a stage for the first time on his third tour participation. The strong German climber was already preparing for the Criterium du Dauphine successfully, so he was considered a contender for the day’s success even before the start of the tenth stage.

Bilbao is putting pressure on overall classification

Meanwhile, other drivers tried to break away from the peloton, a chasing group formed around Julian Alaphilippe and Ben O’Connor – but it took until kilometer 80 before they could catch up. Eventually, the leading group consisted of 14 riders, building up a lead of just over three minutes.

With a deficit of 7:37 minutes, Pello Bilbao (11th) was the best-placed professional of the escapees, so the peloton made sure not to let the lead grow too much. But it didn’t get any lower either, the peloton was still three minutes behind the Spaniard and his companions with 25 kilometers to go.

Neilands is trying to go it alone

However, Bilbao was not in the lead at the time. Krists Neilands had pulled away a few kilometers single-handedly and opened up a lead of half a minute. However, because the end of the stage was flat or even downhill, Bilbao and Co. still had a great chance of catching up with the soloist. At the moment, however, it seemed certain that the field around yellow carrier Jonas Vingegaard and his opponent Tadej Pogacar would no longer close the gap.

At the top, however, it was a three-way battle. With 15 kilometers to go, Neilands was about 18 seconds ahead of the five-man group around Bilbao, which also included Zimmermann. A further 20 seconds behind, Alaphilippe and three companions still had the chance to intervene in the fight for the stage win.

Neilands’ battle was over with three kilometers to go, the top six riders still had a good 20 seconds advantage over the other pursuers – so after a hectic start there was a highly exciting end. However, Alaphilippe and Co. were no longer able to sprint for victory. Zimmermann then lost out to Bilbao at the very front. There were no changes in the fight for overall victory, Vingegaard and Pogacar finished at the same time.