Mads Pedersen celebrates as he crosses the finish line in Saint-Étienne. Danish sprinter Mads Pedersen, of Trek-Segafredo, took victory in the 13th stage from Le Bourg d’Oisans to Saint-Étienne, after a high-powered seven-rider breakaway dissolved on the rolling roads west of the Rhône.
Chased across the Isère and Rhône by the peloton, the breakaway included south London’s Fred Wright, of the Bahrain Victorious team. The 23-year-old slipped clear in the final kilometres with former World Road Race champion Pedersen and Hugo Houle, but the Dane’s sprint proved irresistible.
“I’m a bit gutted to be honest,” Wright said, after taking second place. “I tried, so second is pretty good, but I wanted that win. I needed to attack on the last climb but that tempo was as hard as I could go. After we got over it, it was like: ‘Damn, it’s going to be a sprint and I won’t be able to beat him [Pedersen].’”
“I’m learning,” Wright said of his efforts. “I’ll do it better next time. Maybe not this Tour, but at some point there will be a next time.”
The heat was on as the fatigued peloton rolled out of the Alps towards the Rhône valley, with riders constantly dousing themselves with water, as temperatures in the high thirties settled on central France.
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