The sprinters’ time in the spotlight is over and the attention of the Tour de France turns back around to the GC battle.
So far, defending champion Egan Bernal (Ineos) has shipped 21 seconds to Primož Roglič purely through bonus seconds, the Colombian unable to match the Jumbo-Visma rider’s kick in the final run-in to the line.
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On stage 13, there are bonus seconds available at both the top of the penultimate climb, the category two Col de Neronne, as well as the first category Puy Mary summit finish.
Bernal’s plan is to try and cover Roglič’s kick to limit any more time losses before he hits back in the final week when the race arrives in the Alps.
“Today was difficult to see about tomorrow,” Bernal said when asked if he’d learnt anything on the hilly roads of stage 12 to better inform him about the GC battle that will likely unfold tomorrow.
“Today I felt good but we need to wait until tomorrow, it will be a bit different with the last kick in the final, we need to cover [that] and arrive well in the last kilometres.”
For Roglič, it will be his fourth stage in the yellow jersey, and is already asking if people are getting bored of talking to him in the post-race press conferences.
The Slovenian seems relaxed, and Friday is a day where he should expect to have the measure of Bernal and seems up for another scrap with his rivals.
“I think it looks like a really hard stage, a nice challenge, for sure we can expect some fights at the end definitely,” Roglič said. “For us it stays the same, focusing on ourselves and doing our job. But definitely at the end a lot of things can happen.”