Tour de France Update: Pogacar Cuts into Vingegaard’s Lead

Posted on: July 10, 2023, 11:01h. 

Last updated on: July 10, 2023, 11:57h.

Tadej Pogacar from UAE Team Emirates is currently the betting favorite to win the 2023 Tour de France at -125 odds. That’s even though he’s in second place overall with 12 stages remaining. Defending champion Jonas Vingegaard from Jumbo-Visma is currently in first place, and he’s right behind Pogacar at +110 odds to win the Tour de France in consecutive years.

Tadej Pogacar Jonas Vingegaard Tour de France
Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) and defending champion Jonas Vingegaard ascend to the top of Puy de Dome in Stage 9 of the 2023 Tour de France. (Image: Reuters)

The Tour de France has completed the first nine stages and has its first rest day on Monday. There are still 12 more stages remaining, including multiple grueling mountain stages in the Alps.

Vingegaard is currently wearing the yellow jersey as the first-place rider in the peloton, but the Dane’s lead is shrinking. The defending champ holds just a 17-second lead over Slovenia’s Pogacar in second place.

Pogacar won the Tour de France in back-to-back years in 2020 and 2021, and he was the runner-up last summer. Vingegaard and Pogacar developed a fierce rivalry over the last couple of years after Vingegaard finished in second place in 2021.

Pogacar is seeking a third win at Le Tour, but he’s nursing a wrist injury. Meanwhile, Vingegaard is attempting to defend his title.

Prior to Stage 1, oddsmakers installed Vingegaard as a slim favorite to win the 2023 Tour de France, +110 odds over Pogacar at +115 odds.

Vingegaard and Pogacar Battle in the Pyrenees

After the first four stages, Pogacar emerged with an 11-second lead over Vingegaard before the peloton headed into the Pyrenees Mountains.

Australia’s Jai Hindley from Bora-Hansgrohe won Stage 5 at Laruns and seized first place in the GC standings to secure the yellow jersey. Vingegaard moved into second place when he finished 64 seconds ahead of Pogacar at Laruns.

Pogacar won Stage 6 at Cauterets-Cambasque, which included an ascent of the infamous Col du Tourmalet. He finished 24 seconds ahead of Vingegaard, who took second place in Stage 6.

Hindley got dropped on the ascent of the Tourmalet and lost the lead in the GC standings when he finished in sixth place in Stage 6. Vinegaard jumped into first place in the GC standings and seized the yellow jersey with a 25-second overall lead over Pogacar in second place.

After a mellow next two stages, Pogacar trimmed away eight precious seconds in Stage 9 during a punishing summit finish at Puy de Dome on Sunday.

Heading into Stage 10 on Tuesday, Vingegaard holds just a 17-second lead, but he remains in the coveted maillot jaune since Stage 6.

It’s still too close to call the race between Vingegaard and Pogacar with 12 stages remaining. Pogacar seized the momentum in the last few stages, but Vingegaard thrives in the Alps during longer stages in higher altitudes.

Three mountain stages are on the upcoming schedule this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Stage 13 is slated for Friday in a 138-kilometer route that features the iconic Grand Colombier.

Jasper the Disaster Snags Hat Trick

Belgium’s Jasper Philipsen from Alpecin–Deceuninck established himself as the top sprinter at the 2023 Tour de France with three stage victories. He currently wears the green jersey designated for the leading sprinter in the peloton.

Philipsen, nicknamed Jasper the Disaster, capped off the 2022 Tour de France with a sprint victory in the final stage in Paris. He began this summer with back-to-back victories in Stage 3 in Bayonne, and in Stage 4 in Nogaro. He also won Stage 7 in Bordeaux.

If you had told me a week ago, I’d have told you that you’re crazy,” said Philipsen. “Can’t be proud enough of the team. Without them it would have been impossible to win a third stage already. We worked together and that led to success. I was always on a good wheel and never had to make a big effort before I had to produce my sprint.”

On a bit of a sad note, British sprinter Mark Cavendish from Astana Qazaqstan Team had to drop out of the Le Tour. Cavendish crashed during Stage 8. A stunned and demoralized Cavendish was whisked away in an ambulance with a fractured collar bone.

With a total of 34 stage wins, Cavendish is tied with five-time champion Eddy Merckx for the most stage victories in Tour de France history. The 36-year-old Cavendish intended to retire after this year’s racing season and was riding in the Tour de France for one final time. Cavendish and his teammates hoped he could break Merckx’s record during one of the six flat stages on this year’s schedule.

Cavendish finished in second place in Stage 7 when Philipsen denied him a 35th stage victory.

Jai Hindley Fighting for Third Place

Cycling fans caught their first glimpse of Australia’s Hindley when he won the 2022 Giro d’Italia. He didn’t ride in the last year’s Tour de France, but inspired big expectations in Le Tour this year.

With everyone expecting Vingegaard and Pogacar to slug it out to determine the yellow jersey winner in this year’s Tour de France, the rest of the GC contenders were battling for third place. Several experts and oddsmakers pegged Hindley as a potential GC contender. Hindley had the third-best odds on the futures board behind Pogacar and Vingegaard before the Grand Depart in Spain.

Hindley won his first stage at the Tour de France in the Pyrenees Mountains during a 163-kilometer ride from Pau to Laruns. The Aussie took over first place in the GC standings and snagged the yellow jersey after winning the first challenging mountain stage on this year’s route.

It’s really incredible, I have no words,” Hindley said after winning Stage 5. “I just wanted to take as much time as possible, and also the stage win. Found myself in the yellow jersey, so that’s pretty cool.”

Hindley spent just one day in the yellow jersey before he coughed it up to Vingegaard after Stage 6.

Hindley currently occupies third place in the GC standings. He’s 2:40 behind Vingegaard in first place, and 2:23 behind Pogacar in second place. Hindley is 102 seconds ahead of Carlos Rodriguez (Ineos Grenadiers) in fourth place. He’s nearly two minutes ahead of the twins: Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) in fifth place, and Simon Yates (Team Jayco Alula) in sixth place.

Hindley is +100 odds to finish in the top three podium spots, according to DraftKings. He leads Rodriguez (+200), Simon Yates (+200), and Adam Yates (+450) in the fight for third place.