There are climbs and there are climbs. But I can honestly say today that I don’t think I have ever seen a climb in the Tour de France as brutal as the Col de la Loze. Making its debut in the Tour, the final kilometers of this road were literally paved just for the Tour. And it lived up to all expectations.
But before climbing towards the ski resort of Méribel and beyond, the peloton skirted out of Grenoble and attacked one of the race’s most mythic climbs — Le col de la Madeleine.
Julian Alaphilippe, Lennard Kämna, and Richard Carapaz once again jumped into the breakaway for the second straight day, although they all seemed to know it was a suicidal effort — especially since Mikel Landa’s Bahrain-McLaren team kept the pace high for much of the day.
Carapaz held out the longest, but could do little once the favorites started attacking in the final four kilometers. And while Miguel Ángel López soloed to his biggest career victory on the isolated upper slopes of la Loze, yellow jersey Primož Roglič proved once and for all that he is clearly the strongest rider in this year’s Tour, as he dropped everyone while he chased the Colombian all the way to the finish.