Michal Kwiatkowski held on to take a solo win on stage 13 of the Tour de France on the Grand Colombier as Tadej Pogacar’s bid to snatch the yellow jersey from Jonas Vingegaard fell narrowly short.
Former world champion Kwiatkowski admitted he could not believe the position he was in as he emerged from a breakaway to take his second career Tour stage win, delivering for Ineos Grenadiers a year after Tom Pidcock took a Bastille Day win on the Alpe d’Huez.
All eyes had been on UAE Team Emirates and Pogacar, who sought to control this 138km stage from Chatillon-Sur-Chalaronne aiming to repeat Pogacar’s stage win the last time the Tour finished here in 2020, and looking to overhaul Vingegaard’s narrow advantage in yellow.
But although Pogacar was able to distance Vingegaard a little in the final few hundred metres, launching his attack just as Kwiatkowski came home, he picked up only four seconds, plus four bonus seconds for third place, meaning Vingegaard kept yellow by 9sec.
UAE Team Emirates were left to rue allowing 20 riders up the road on the flat start, a group that proved too big and powerful to bring back.
After 16 riders hit the final climb with four minutes of an advantage, Kwiatkowski was initially distanced by a group of four riders that included Tour debutant James Shaw.
But he rode back to them and then straight past still with 11km to the summit, quickly opening up a sizable gap and winning by 47sec from fellow escapee Maxim Van Gils.
The last time the Tour visited the Grand Colombier in 2020, Kwiatkowski was nursing a struggling Egan Bernal who abandoned the race two days later, but this time he could savour very different emotions.
“When I entered the break I thought, ‘this is just a free ticket to maybe the bottom of the climb’ or something like that, I never thought this group will fight for the stage win because UAE were pulling pretty hard,” Kwiatkowski said.
“But it is not easy to chase 19 guys on the flat for more than 100km… I think UAE let too many guys in the front and I found the best legs I ever had in my life. I didn’t believe that was possible but here I am.”
Although Pogacar hoovered up the last of the bonus seconds on the line to keep the pressure on Vingegaard, the two-time Tour winner would have hoped for more on a climb which plays to his strengths.
“It’s very nice to take some more seconds, but hats off to the breakaway and Michal Kwiatkowski for today,” Pogacar said.
Instead there was relief for Vingegaard, whose team-mates enjoyed an easier day after the chaos of Thursday’s stage 12.
“The aim was to keep the yellow jersey,” Vingegaard said. “I still have it, so I’m happy. Tadej is more explosive than me and this stage suited him more, so I’m really glad to still be in yellow.”
Pogacar and Vingegaard both picked up time on the rest of the overall contenders, with third-placed Jay Hindley now two minutes and 51 seconds back, and the gap to Carlos Rodriguez in fourth nearing five minutes.
Although Ineos Grenadiers lost Ben Turner to illness, there was more good news as Pidcock came home fifth on the stage, 13 seconds behind Pogacar, to strengthen his hold on eighth. Adam Yates is fifth and twin brother Simon sixth, with all three Britons within six minutes of yellow.
“I think Bastille Day should be renamed Ineos day,” Pidcock said. “Two pretty iconic climbs, two pretty special wins.
“At one point we were talking about Kwiato coming back from the break to help with positioning for the final climb because UAE were not giving the break any time, and then he wins the stage. It always happens when you least expect it.” PA
Tour de France, stage 13: As it happened . . .
05:36 PM BST
Stage 13 verdict: Pogacar flying too close to the sun?
With one vicious attack, Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) took back 8sec on Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) to move within 9sec of the overall leader. Momentum is clearly on the side of the two-time champion, but at what cost?
On three occasions now at this year’s Tour de France, the great entertainer that is Pogacar has successfully dropped his rival Vingegaard, each time clawing back time on the race leader. However, the one time Vingegaard landed a punch, the great Dane practically knocked his opponent out before gaining around a minute on Pogacar at the business end of stage five.
As entertaining is it is to watch these acts of aggression from Pogacar, the concern is that he and his team are burning too many matches for very little gain.
With back-to-back mountain stages over the weekend, it will be interesting to see how Pogacar and his team-mates have recovered, because the amount of work done on Friday may come back to bite them. Either this weekend, or in the final decisive week.
04:43 PM BST
Yates (Adam) following that breathtaking finale . . .
04:34 PM BST
Kwiatkowski’s post-race interview. . .
04:14 PM BST
Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) attacks with a fierce kick around 400 metres from the finish line and Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) is unable to hold his wheel. The two-time Tour de France champion manages to close down James Shaw (EF Education-EasyPost) – heartbreak for the Briton – but was unable to overhaul Maxim Van Gils (Lotto-Dstny). Pogacar takes third place to claim a 4sec time bonus and, after crossing the line 4sec ahead of Vingegaard, gains 8sec on the race leader. Vingegaard will keep his leader’s yellow jersey, but the Dane has seen his lead trimmed down to 9sec ahead of a huge weekend in the mountains.
04:13 PM BST
Kwiatkowski wins stage 13 at the Tour de France!
He’s done it, Michal Kwiatkowski (Ineos Grenadiers) has won stage 13 at the Tour de France with a superb performance from the 2014 world champion. That’s another stage win on Bastille Day for Ineos Grenadiers a year after Tom Pidcock prevailed atop Alpe d’Huez. Next up, can James Shaw of Nottingham take second?
04:11 PM BST
1km to go
Michal Kwiatkowski is going to win this stage today. Further back, Adam Yates leads the general classification group ahead of Sepp Kuss, then Tadej Pogacar who is being shadowed by Jonas Vingegaard.
04:10 PM BST
2km to go
James Shaw is the second rider on the road. Can the Briton take second? What a result that would be for the man who was riding in the second division of world cycling just two years ago after he was dropped by what was Lotto-Soudal.
04:09 PM BST
2.5km to go
Michal Kwiatkowski rides through a tunnel of passionate mayhem. Minutes away from a memorable stage win for the Pole. Further back, Adam Yates attacks … Sepp Kuss leads the chase for Jumbo-Visma team-mate Jonas Vingegaard.
04:07 PM BST
3km to go
Michal Kwiatkowski will, I think, be winning the stage today which would be the first this year for Ineos Grenadiers. Back in the general classification group, we are waiting for the attack from Tadej Pogacar. But will it come?
04:05 PM BST
4km to go
Rafal Majka rolls through on the front for Tadej Pogacar, while his compatriot Michal Kwiatkowski still leads the stage by 1min 7sec – but 2min 17sec ahead of the general classification riders.
04:04 PM BST
5km to go
Michal Kwiatkowski rises out of his saddle, the 33-year-old puts in another dig. His lead is holding, but UAE Team Emirates have the bit between their teeth and are still looking intent on doing some damage here today.
04:01 PM BST
6km to go
Tadej Pogacar rolls to the front, as if to issue instructions to his team-mates. Is he telling them to ride harder, go faster? Michal Kwiatkowski’s advantage is holding at around the minute mark, but Pogacar’s group has closed the Pole down by another minute. This could be close.
03:58 PM BST
6.5km to go
Felix Grossschartner is pulling this general classification group, but will Tadej Pogacar launch an assault on Jonas Vingegaard? And if so, how will the maillot jaune respond? Back at the front of the stage, Michal Kwiatkowski now leads by over a minute.
03:55 PM BST
7km to go
Michal Kwiatkowski is growing his lead over Matej Mohoric et al – almost a minute now. Back in the chasing group, Marc Soler peels off before Felix Grossschartner takes over. Romain Bardet is struggling, while Thibaut Pinot could not sustain this pace and has been dropped. Simon Yates is still in the general classification group, as is Jai Hindley who started the day third overall.
03:52 PM BST
8km to go
Marc Soler has team-mates Felix Grossschartner, Rafal Majka and Adam Yates tucked in behind, all ready to work for their leader Tadej Pogacar. Jonas Vingegaard has just one team-mate, Sepp Kuss, for company. Jai Hindley is in the general classification group, as is Tom Pidcock and Carlos Rodríguez.
03:49 PM BST
10km to go
Michal Kwiatkowski has gained 35sec on James Shaw, Harold Tejada and Maxim Van Gils who now have Matej Mohoric for company. Marc Soler is putting in a huge shift on the front of the peloton, gasping for air and pulling hard on his handlebars as he grapples with gravity.
03:44 PM BST
11.5km to go
Michal Kwiatkowski (Ineos Grenadiers) is the new stage leader. The Pole who has just one Tour de France stage win on his very impressive palmarès has managed to gain 15sec in a very short space of time. The former world champion and winner of multiple classics – Amstel Gold, Milan-Sanremo, Strade Bianche – who has ridden nine Tours de France, six of those in the service of Team Sky / Ineos.
03:42 PM BST
12km to go
Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) has been dropped out of the back of what I am still calling the peloton, although that group has been blown to pieces on that tough, tough climb. British climber James Shaw leads the stage, along with Colombian Harold Tejada and Maxim Van Gils.
03:40 PM BST
12.5km to go
Quentin Pacher is being cheered loudly by his well refreshed compatriots at the roadside. Moments later, the Frenchman is caught and dropped by Maxim Van Gils (Lotto-Dstny), James Shaw (EF Education-EasyPost) and Harold Tejada (Astana Qazaqstan). The trio leads the peloton by 3min 38sec.
03:38 PM BST
13km to go
Jonas Vingegaard has, I believe, just one team-mate for company now: Sepp Kuss. Marc Soler sets the pace on the front, the Spaniard focused on the job in hand, with two team-mates tucked in behind while Tadej Pogacar is riding at fourth wheel. A few wheels back, Romain Bardet is bouncing around, out of his saddle.
03:35 PM BST
14km to go
Wout van Aert and Jumbo-Visam team-mate Christophe Laporte have peeled off from the peloton, while UAE Team Emirates continue setting a fierce pace. Quentin Pacher’s advantage has dropped to 3min 35sec. Jonas Vingegaard is glued onto the wheel of Tadej Poagacar, shadowing his great rival.
03:31 PM BST
16km to go
Quentin Pacher (Groupama-FDJ) rises out of his saddle, the Frenchman dreaming of those headlines as he leads the Bastille Day stage, but can he finish this off? He’s got an awful long way to go yet. Back in the peloton, Ineos Grenadiers are getting themselves organised, making sure Carlos Rodríguez and Tom Pidcock – who won his unforgettable stage atop Alpe d’Huez a year ago today – are protected.
03:27 PM BST
‘Grit your teeth’: 17.4km to go
Here we go, the breakaway is onto the steep lower slopes of the Grand Colombier. James Shaw, the 27-year-old Briton, is ordered to ‘grit his teeth’ over team radio.
Shaw, for those who have not been paying attention, did a fine ride in the opening week and managed to be the only rider able to hold the wheels of Tadej Poagacar and Jonas Vingegaard. . . until he no longer could. He eventually finished fifth on the mountain stage with an impressive performance on Cauterets-Cambasque.
03:24 PM BST
19km to go: Hell is round the corner . . .
The 17.4km long ascent of the hors catégorie Grand Colombier is not too far away now, with the breakaway leading the chasing group by 3min 58sec. It looks like a tricky climb, made up of five distinguishable sections that, up near the top, are on very narrow roads. If the protagonists are still together, positioning will be key: although one suspects that by the time the riders have reached the upper slopes, the leading group will have whittled down to a very select group.
03:18 PM BST
Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Dstny) has abandoned the Tour. The Australian sprinter had been struggling throughout the stage, riding just ahead of the broom wagon.
03:17 PM BST
Watching brief. . .
The crowds are on Grand Colombier, waiting for the stage to explode into life.
03:13 PM BST
28km to go
Pierre Latour, a good climber but iffy descender, has lost 37sec on the breakaway while Adrien Petit is another two minutes back on the breakaway. Tadej Pogacar and the maillot jaune of Jonas Vingegaard are almost four minutes back on the stage leaders now. The break is riding full gas and have, somehow, gained some valuable time. But with that 17.4km hors catégorie climb, will that be enough?
03:09 PM BST
32.5km to go
Pierre Latour has been dropped by the charging peloton, as has another Frenchman Adrien Petit. UAE Team Emirates are riding hard – now all as one – on the front of the chasing group, while the breakaway has splintered on the descent.
03:04 PM BST
40km to go
Having reached the summit beyond the intermediate sprint, the breakaway is onto the descent now. Their advantage over the UAE Team Emirates-powered peloton has grown out to just over three minutes which, although encouraging, may not be enough to stop a galloping Tadej Pogacar should the two-time Tour de France champion decide he wants to challenge for the stage win today.
02:52 PM BST
50.5km to go
Mike Teunissen won the intermediate sprint, but I don’t think green jersey holder Jasper Philipsen will be losing too much sleep tonight.
02:49 PM BST
‘Let’s hope for the same scenario’
Having won on Grand Colombier three years ago, Tadej Pogacar is expecting fireworks again today.
02:44 PM BST
54km to go
Matej Mohoric flits around on the front of the breakaway, the pace increasing with each push. As a result, a few are starting to labour on this climb that is definitely NOT A CLIMB. UAE Team Emirates are still controlling the pace on the pointy end of the peloton. Once over the intermediate sprint, there will be another few kilometres of climbing before a descent into the bottom of the day’s climb, the 17.4km drag up the Grand Colombier.
02:37 PM BST
57km to go
The breakaway is very definitely climbing up towards Hauteville-Lompnes where today’s intermediate sprint is positioned. The gradient is around 7%, but whatever the profile is saying, this is NOT a climb. The peloton trails the break by a shade over two minutes which, I suspect, will feel a little demoralising for those up the road.
02:31 PM BST
. . . meanwhile, Adam said:
02:27 PM BST
Simon says . . .
Simon Yates (Jayco-Alula), who started the day seventh on general classification 4min 44sec behind race leader Jonas Vingegaard, spoke earlier about today’s stage and how he is coping following his crash a few days ago.
“I don’t know the climb, I’ve never done it before,” he said. “By all accounts it is quite hard, but I think the stage overall is not very demanding so I don’t know how big the gaps will be, especially with what’s coming in the next few days. For sure, there will be a selection, but [maybe] not as big as what some of the guys are expecting.
“Sometimes it’s good to not know what’s coming so you are not afraid. I never had a problem with that before, and also on this Tour I’ve not known a lot of the climbs and not had any problems.
“[I am] getting better every day, still a little bit of pain. I think the rest day really helped. Right now I feels quite good, let’s see what happens.”
02:15 PM BST
75km to go
UAE Team Emirates continue to control the pace on the front of the peloton, their riders are spit into two groups: there are three on the front, followed by Bora-Hansgrohe, the Tadje Pogacaris tucked in behind alongside team-mates Marc Soler and Adam Yates. Behind the two-time winner, who I think is plotting an assault today, is the Ineos Grenadiers squad who are positioned ahead of Jumbo-Visma who are surrounding the maillot jaune which is currently sitting on the shoulders of Jonas Vingegaard. But will the defending champion still have that yellow jersey on the summit of the Grand Colombier later on this afternoon?
02:09 PM BST
Transgender riders banned from all cycling events
Transgender women will be banned from all cycling events under new rules that come into force on Monday, the International Cycling Union (UCI) has announced. Under existing regulations, transgender women can compete in female races sanctioned by the UCI providing they have a maximum testosterone level of 2.5 nanomoles per litre.
In May, the UCI defended that policy as being “based on the latest scientific knowledge” following controversy after American Austin Killips won the Tour of the Gila in New Mexico to become the first transgender woman to win a UCI women’s stage race.
02:04 PM BST
80km to go: Turner dropped
Ben Turner (Ineos Grenadiers), the 24-year-old Tour de France debutant, has been dropped by the peloton. Speaking on Eurosport, Jens Voigt reported that the Briton has been struggling with a stomach illness.
02:01 PM BST
Wish you were here?
01:54 PM BST
87km to go
Matteo Trentin, the former European road race champion, is now pulling on the front of the peloton for his UAE Team Emirates team-mates. Tucked in behind is the Bora-Hansgrohe squad, while Jumbo-Visma is the third team on the road. The pace being set by Trentin has seen the breakaway’s lead drop to below 1min 20sec.
01:47 PM BST
95km to go
Very little change out on the road: the breakaway’s advantage is holding at around 1min 30sec, while UAE Team Emirates appear determined today, presumably wanting to to set up their man Tadej Pogacar for the stage win, or at least finish ahead of Jonas Vingegaard and either gain a time bonus, or drop him on the Grand Colombier and eat into the Dane’s 17sec lead on general classification.
01:36 PM BST
102.5km to go
UAE Team Emirates are riding hard on the front of the peloton. Having put Mikkel Bjerg on the front, they appear to be in no mood to letting the 20-man breakaway challenge for the stage. Big surprise that, especially with the two big mountain stages over the weekend. Is this sensible from Tadej Pogacar’s squad?
Here’s the full composition of the breakaway, which leads by 1min 30sec: Kasper Asgreen (Soudal-Quick Step), Alberto Bettiol (EF Education-EasyPost), Cees Bol (Astana Qazaqstan), Anthon Charmig (Uno-X Pro), Pascal Eenkhoorn (Lotto-Dstny), Maxim Van Gils (Lotto-Dstny), Hugo Houle (Israel-Premier Tech), Michal Kwiatkowski (Ineos Grenadiers), Pierre Latour (TotalEnergies), Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious), Luca Mozzato (Arkéa-Samsic), Nelson Oliveira (Movistar), Quentin Pacher (Groupama-FDJ), Adrien Petit (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty), James Shaw (EF Education-EasyPost), Jasper Stuyven (Lidl-Trek), Harold Tejada (Astana Qazaqstan), Mike Teunissen (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty), Fred Wright (Bahrain Victorious) and Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty).
01:30 PM BST
110km to go
The leading group has swelled to around 20 riders now and it some some strong riders, a combination of rouleurs, baroudeurs and sprinters – presumably the fastmen are thinking about the points up for grabs at the intermediate sprint.
01:26 PM BST
112km to go
As the race weaves its way through each small village, the crowds cheer their heroes on. Clear blue skies overhead, with a light breeze in the air. At 30.1C, however, I’m not sure I would fancy riding this hard.
01:22 PM BST
115km to go
All change on the front. Maxim Van Gils (Lotto-Dstny), Yves Lampaert (Soudal-Quick Step), Nelson Oliveira (Movistar) and Quentin Pacher (Groupama-FDJ) now lead by around 11sec. Unsurprisingly, it has been a rapid start today, with the stage leaders moving at an average speed of 52.6kmh.
01:14 PM BST
121.5km to go
Rémi Cavagna launched himself off the front, and has a tidy little firm with him now: Bryan Coquard (Cofidis), Jonathan Castroviejo (Ineos Grenadiers), Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost), Omar Fraile (Ineos Grenadiers), Fred Wright (Bahrain Victorious). That sextet have gained a handful of seconds on the peloton.
01:12 PM BST
123.5km to go
All over for Pierre Latour and Jonas Abrahamsen who have been subsumed by the hungry looking bunch. Soudal-Quick Step looking ominous near the front.
01:11 PM BST
125km to go
Pierre Latour (TotalEnergies) has managed to gain a handful of seconds on the peloton, the 29-year-old has Jonas Abrahamsen (Uno-X) for company.
01:09 PM BST
127km to go
Juan Pedro López (Lidl-Trek) puts in a dig off the front, but the Spanish climber will struggle to shake off the peloton this terrain. TotalEnergies are looking very lively, marking almost every move.
01:05 PM BST
130km to go
Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ), the French national road race champion, has been forced to sit up having had a mechanical issue. Back at the front of the race, there are a handful of EF Education-EasyPost riders pulling hard, while Arkéa-Samsic and Cofidis are also represented.
01:01 PM BST
133.5km to go
Rémi Cavagna (Soudal-Quick Step), the two-time French national time trial champion, has surged ahead. A handful of others soon bridged over to the man they call the ‘TGV of Clermont-Ferrand’, but their lead over the bunch is minimal.
12:59 PM BST
135km to go
Straight from the off, Victor Campenaerts (Lotto-Dstny) attacked with the Belgian dragging a team-mate and a pair of Uno-X Pro riders over with him. The Belgian was soon closed down though after TotalEnergies moved en masse to the front, followed by another two French teams – Groupama-FDJ and Cofidis.
12:55 PM BST
And they’re off . . .
Following that short neutralised zone, race director Christian Prudhomme has popped his head out of the sunroof of his shiny red Skoda, and dropped the flag to signify that it is time for today’s racing to get under way. Bang on time that.
There has been 28 French winners over the years on Bastille Day, and there are plenty of Frenchmen up towards the head of the field, sitting poised on Prudhomme’s bumper ready to attack.
12:47 PM BST
Smile for the camera
Today’s neutralised zone is just 4.3km long, and after posing for the cameras the peloton is rolling along gently before the expected fireworks.
12:41 PM BST
Not too long to go now before the riders start tapping away through the neutralised zone and the French are definitely feeling up for this today.
11:40 AM BST
Stage 13 preview
Hello and welcome to our live rolling coverage from stage 13 at the Tour de France, the 138 kilometre run from Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne to Grand Colombier.
Following three relatively quiet days in the general classification, today is a stage in which the main protagonists – Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) and Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) – are expected to test each others mettle once they reach the one and only categorised climb, the hors catégorie Grand Colombier.
The intermediate sprint at Hauteville-Lompnes is situated 87.3km in to the stage – 50.5km from the finish line – and positioned on an uncategorised climb. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) remains the dominant force in the points classification having won four stages at this year’s race, the Belgian leading Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek) by a whopping 144 points, with Frenchman Bryan Coquard (Cofidis) third another point back. Here’s what can be won by those targeting the maillot vert, the green jersey worn by the leader in the points classification, today:
Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost) still leads mountains classification, and with a maximum of 20 points up for grabs atop the Grand Colombier, only Tobias Halland Johannessen (Uno-X Pro) or Felix Gall (Ag2r-Citroën) can mathematically wrest the maillot à pois, the polka-dot jersey, off the shoulders of the American.
The only climb of the day on this short – but hopefully aggressive stage – was first tackled in the 2012 edition of the Tour when Frenchman Thomas Voeckler prevailed. Coming as it does today on France’s national holiday, I think it is safe to safe the crowds will be out in their numbers on the Grand Colombier, but will they be celebrating with a rousing rendition of La Marseillaise?
Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) may have burned too many matches in yesterday’s breakaway, while his team-mate David Gaudu has, thus far, looked a little undercooked. Warren Barguil (Arkéa-Samsic) has history here having been pipped at the line by Rigoberto Urán (EF Education-EasyPost) in 2017, but did manage to win on Bastille Day that year. In fact, Barguil remains the last Frenchman to win on Bastille Day, although he may struggle to pull off a repeat.
Pierre Latour (TotalEnergies), the winner of the youth classification in 2018 after finishing ahead of Egan Bernal (Ineos Grendiers), may be a better shout for the French. And let us not forget about the greatest ever living Frenchman: Romain Bardet (DSM-Firmenich), who starts the day 6min 58sec down on general classification and so if he has the legs, may be given the freedom to roam.
In reality, however, while France and the Tour may be en fête, the peloton will be in no mood to hand out any gifts. Much will depend on how Jumbo-Visma and UAE Team Emirates approach the stage. Pogacar won here in 2020 en route to taking home his first maillot jaune, the yellow jersey, but he will be marked closely by Vingegaard’s busy bees who will not want the Slovenian clipping off up the road scooping up any further time bonuses. With two tough mountain stages to follow, I would not be surprised if the stage win comes from a breakaway before Vingegaard and Pogacar battle it out between themselves a few minutes later.
Whatever happens this afternoon, Telegraph Sport will be here to guide you through all of the key moments, from start to finish. Racing is due to get under way at KM0 at 12.44pm (BST).
Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph free for 1 month, then enjoy 1 year for just $9 with our US-exclusive offer.