Trek-Segafredo team's Danish rider Mads Pedersen celebrates as he cycles to the finish line to win the 13th stage of the 109th edition of the Tour de France cycling race, 192,6 km between Le Bourg d'Oisans in the French Alps, and Saint-Etienne in central France, on July 15, 2022. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP)

Breakaway Mads Pedersen prevented the expected sprint spectacle in the heat of Saint-Étienne and celebrated his first stage win at the 109th Tour de France. The Danish ex-world champion prevailed on Friday at temperatures of over 35 degrees ahead of Britain’s Fred Wright and Canadian Hugo Houle. Simon Geschke once again successfully defended his mountain jersey after 192.6 kilometers and wrote a small piece of German tour history.

“It’s incredible to finally get the stage win. The shape is good and it took a lot of tries. For a driver like me there are few chances on this tour, so I had to take advantage of them,” said Pedersen. “For a long time I thought it was a mistake to go into the group. The lead wasn’t big, but the route was difficult enough.” It was the third Danish stage win on this tour, which started in Copenhagen.

As expected, Jonas Vingegaard had no problems defending his yellow jersey in the general classification. The Dane is 2:22 minutes ahead of defending champion Tadej Pogacar and 2:26 ahead of Welsh ex-tour winner Geraint Thomas.

After starting in Bourg d’Oisans at the foot of the climb to Alpe d’Huez, numerous riders attempted a breakaway, including German champion Nils Politt. In the end there was a seven-person leading group without a German driver, in which time trial world champion Filippo Ganna was represented. However, there was no agreement among the sprinter teams on the tracking work, so that the escapees made it to the finish line.

Bergkönig Geschke did without attacks and other points and stayed in the field after the strenuous days in the high mountains. With 43 points, the Berliner is still at the top of the mountains classification, the South African Louis Meintjes is four points behind in second place. In Saint-Étienne, the 36-year-old received the famous white jersey with the red dots for the fifth time, setting a German record.

So far, Marcel Wüst has been the professional cyclist who, from a German perspective, has worn the mountain jersey most often on the tour. The sprinter from Cologne wore the jersey for four stages in the Tour 2000. Geschke has a good chance of successfully defending the lead in the standings until the second rest day on Monday. The stages at the weekend lead through the central massif and should suit the profile of the Cofidis professional. The only question is how the forces of the veteran are.

One of Geschke’s competitors for the mountain jersey had to admit defeat without a fight on Friday morning. Warren Barguil was the sixth professional cyclist to leave the tour because of a positive corona test. The team’s other seven riders, including sixth-placed Colombian Nairo Quintana, tested negative, according to the team. The Frenchman Barguil had won the mountain jersey of the tour in 2017 and was within striking distance of Geschke with 30 points before the 13th stage.