The Spanish rider started the four-climb stage quietly in 17th overall at 2:06 back and snuck into some early moves before riding away alone with 60km to go. The gap grew big enough to put him into the “virtual” lead going into the late throes of the stage.
“It was an unexpected victory,” Pedrero said. “The idea was to ride into the break to see if something would happen, but we opened a gap very early and could maintain the difference. I never thought I could make it.
“The day turned out well, and I could hang on strong until the finish line,” he said. “This victory leaves me very, very happy. I wasn’t thinking about the GC. I knew what the differences were and in my case it was complicated. This victory alone is a great joy within itself.”
Overnight leader Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) found some allies in the other GC podium challengers to help drive the chase, and with 10km to go, a group of lead chasers featuring much of the top-10 trimmed the gap down.
💥🏆 Magnifique victoire de @GuilmMartin @tourdelain avec une maîtrise totale de l’équipe @TeamCOFIDIS BRAVO @Gerrika @jljonrond @GuilmMartin @RochasRemy @FrancoisBidard @jesushl90 @SanderArmee @rubenfa #CofidisMyTeam #TDA22 https://t.co/bPeceClvFP
— Cédric Vasseur (@cedvasseur) August 11, 2022
Pedrero kept piling it on, and the GC was in danger until the very end.
Mattias Skjelmose Jensen (Trek-Segafredo) started second at just six seconds behind Martin, so the overall final GC was still in play until the final sprint to the line.
Martin held on to secure the overall GC title in a tense final.