Neiland ranks 72nd on the Tour de France with two difficult climbs; victory is celebrated by Colombian Lopess / Article / LSM.lv

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            Latvian cyclist Krist Neilands ("Israel Start-Up Nation") took the 72nd place on Wednesday in the 17th stage of the "Tour de France", which included two high category rises, but in the last kilometers the victory was won by Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez.            </p><div>
            <p style="margin-left:0px; margin-right:0px; text-align:justify">On Wednesday, cyclists covered the first 80 kilometers on relatively flat terrain, but in the continuation of the distance they had to overcome two ascents of the highest category, one of which was almost 2,000 meters above sea level.

Stage 17 was completed the fastest by Lopez (“Astana Pro”), who finished with four hours, 49 minutes and eight seconds. He was 15 seconds ahead of Primož Roglič from Slovenia (“Jumbo-Visma”), but his compatriot and closest follower, Tadej Pogačar (UAE), was 15 seconds slower.

Tomas Skujiņa (“Trek-Segafredo”) teammate Richard Porte won the high-value fifth place, losing one minute and one second to the winner. Also in the top ten was the experienced British athlete Edams Yeats (“Mitchelton-Scott”), who was eighth, but the Spaniard Alehandro Valverde (“Movistar”) finished in 12th place.

Neilands demonstrated the highest performance of Latvians, losing 25 minutes and 52 seconds to the leader, ranking 72nd. His compatriot Skujiņš lost 29 minutes and five seconds to the winner, reaching the finish in the 111th position.

At the beginning of the competition, the leading group was accompanied by Skujiņš, but in the intermediate finish of the sprint, the Latvian still failed to reach the test points. Following the distance, the leading group included the Frenchman Giusillen Alafilip (“Deceuninck – Quick Step”), as well as the Colombians Richard Carapass (“Ineos Grenadiers”) and Nairo Quintana (“Arkea Samsic”).

Kintana was unable to keep up with the pace of the competition 76 kilometers before the finish and continued the race with the peleton, but the Spaniard Nieve Mikels (“Mitchelton-Scott”) withdrew from the race 70 kilometers to the finish. The leaders were followed by Tuesday’s German winner Lenard Kemna (“Bora-hansgrohe”).

20 kilometers before the finish, Alafilips tried to escape, but seven kilometers later he was reached, and Karapass took the lead. For the past ten kilometers, the Colombian has been followed by Jumbo-Visma riders, including overall leader Primož Roglič and also the experienced Spaniard Alehandro Valverde (Movistar). Although the last kilometers of the distance had to be covered against the ascent of the highest category, after the tenth kilometer, Karapass slowly increased his lead from 20 seconds to 45 seconds.

3.5 kilometers to the finish, Rogličs with teammate Sepu Kusa and compatriot Tadeja Pogačar took a break from the group of followers and soon reached Karapas. One and a half kilometers later, the leader was already the driver of the “Astana Pro” team Lopez, who was able to keep the lead until the finish and won.

Last year’s champion Egan Bernals from Colombia (“Ineos Grenadiers”) has already been reported to have left the competition on Wednesday due to back problems.

Rogličs is the leader in the overall standings, overtaking Pogačar by 57 seconds. Meanwhile, Wednesday’s winner Lopess has climbed to third place, losing less than a minute and a half to the Slovenian.

Skujiņš and Neilands lose more than three hours to the leader and rank 74th and 85th, respectively. Skujiņš lost five places in the King’s competition and is 15th with 24 points, but Neilands takes the 46th position. 34th place for Skujiņš and 100th place for Neiland in the sprinters’ test.

In the overall team classification, the Skujiņa unit for the leader “Movistar” loses less than an hour and a half and takes the sixth place.

For Neiland, this is his debut in France, but Skujiņš is participating in this competition for the third year in a row.

The Tour de France, which is deservedly considered one of the largest sporting events in the world, is celebrating its 107th anniversary this year.

Last year, Skujiņš finished in the ninth place in the 17th stage, but in 2018 he took the fifth place in one of the stages, as well as rode in the mountain king’s shirt for several stages. Last year, Skujiņš finished in the 81st position in the overall rating.

The last time two Latvians were together in the “Tour de France” was in 2002. At that time, Arvis Piziks and Raivis Belohvoščiks each rode in their team.

In total, the French tour is scheduled for 21 stages this year, finishing on September 20 in the Champs Elysées.

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