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Tour de France 2023: Bilbao holds off Zimmermann to win stage 10 – as it happened

An emotional Pello Bilbao won a wild stage for Bahrain Victorious and immediately dedicated it to his recently deceased teammate Gino Máder

  • Read Jeremy Whittle’s stage 10 report from Issoire
  • 11 Jul 2023 Bilbao triumphs to go fifth on GC
  • 11 Jul 2023 The top five on General Classification
  • 11 Jul 2023 Top five in stage five
  • 11 Jul 2023 Pello Bilbao takes stage 10!
  • 11 Jul 2023 They're racing on stage 10
  • 11 Jul 2023 Woods scores maiden Tour victory
  • 11 Jul 2023 Who's wearing what?
  • 11 Jul 2023 The top 10 on GC
  • 11 Jul 2023 Stage 10: Vulcania to Issoire (167.2km)

Pello Bilbao Lopez celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win stage 10.

Bilbao triumphs to go fifth on GC

Stage 10 report: Pello Bilbao of Spain, riding for the Bahrain Victorious team, won stage 10 of the Tour de France after outsprinting Georg Zimmermann, racing for Intermarché-Circus-Wanty. Jeremy Whittle reports from Issoire …

The top five on General Classification

Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 42hr 33min 13sec

Tadej Pogacar (UAE Emirates) +17sec

Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) +2min 40sec

Carlos Rodriguez (Ineos Grenadiers) +4min 22sec

Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious) +4min 34sec

Pello Bilbao speaks: He talks the Tour interviewer through the stage and his voice cracks as he stares into the camera. “It was a special one … for Gino,” he says, his voice cracking with emotion. “It was hard to prepare the last two weeks [before the race] with him in your mind but staying at home and staying with my kid Martina, she helped a lot, to just be calm and be positive and to use my positive energy to do something nice in the Tour.

“I wanted to do it in the first few stages [in the Basque country] because it was so special for me but it wasn’t possible, so I just waited for my moment. It’s my first victory in the Tour after 13 years, it’s such a special moment for me.”

Pello Bilbao: In memory of his late teammate Gino Mäder, the Basque rider has promised to help plant loads of trees in deforested areas, continuing an obsession of the Swiss cyclist. He is donating €1 to Mäder’s charity for every rider he beats in each stage in the current Tour, and promised to pony up double if he won one. Today will cost him but he won’t mind.

Top five in stage five

1. Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious) 3hr 52min 34sec 2. Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché–Circus–Wanty) 3. Ben O’Connor (AG2R-Citroën) 4. Krists Neilands (Israel–Premier Tech) 5. Esteban Chaves (EF Education-EasyPost)

The peloton cross the line: They’re 2min 53sec behind the winner. Jonas Vingegaard retains the yellow jersey and his lead over Tadaj Pogacar. But the kudos of the day goes to Pello Bilbao, who wins a stage of the Tour for Bahrain Victorious less than a month after they tragically lost their Swiss teammate, Gino Mäder to an awful crash in the Tour of Switzerland.

Bilbao wins stage 10: Having chased down an attack by Georg Zimmermann, Bilbao had enough left in his legs to win the stage with a final kick that did for his rivals.

Pello Bilbao takes stage 10!

500m to go: Zimmermann and Bilbao start playing cat-and-mouse and are rejoined by the other four riders. Bilbao eventually takes the stage and moves from 11th to at least fifth in the GC.

1km to go: Georg Zimmermann attacks and is closed down by Bilbao, who latches on to his wheel.

2km to go: Ben O’Connor attacks the lead group and Pelles Bilbao chases him down. Esteban Chaves is struggling to keep up.

3km to go: Krist Neilands’ is caught by the Bilbao group, with the Alaphilippe group a further 19 seconds back. It’s heartbreaking for the Latvian but he’s still in the lead group, taking a breather at the back.

4.5km to go: Neilands’ gap is reduced to six seconds as Georg Zimmermann leads the chasing quintet, who are riding together … for the time being.

7km to go: It’s a downhill finish but not a particularly steep one. The riders are currently clocking 59km per hour. Neilands’ lead is flitting between 10 and 15 seconds. He’s putting in a terrific shift.

French firefighters spray the crowd on the finish line to cool off

8km to go: Neilands holds on to his slender lead, while the Alaphilippe group is 20 seconds behind the Bilbao and Chaves group.

12km to go: Neilands pedals on, just nine seconds clear of the Bilbao and Chaves group. “It’s the day of your life! It’s the day of your life! Come on, man!” he’s told by his team boss. It might be for now but it’s not looking good for the Latvian.

14km to go: Caleb Ewan is having his birthday party in the sprinters group, which is currently 27 minutes behind the stage leader.

15km to go: Krists Neilands gets some word of encouragement from his team boss, who tells him how great he is and encourages him to focus on the downhill. He’s 16 seconds clear.

15km to go: Alaphilippe is in a four-man group with Warren Barguil, desperate to rein in the six riders ahead of them. Wout van Aert is towing the peloton along with his team leader Jonas Vingegaard fourth from the front.

20km to go: The peloton are 3min 31sec behind Neilands, the stage leader, who has five riders chasing him down as the road levels out a bit: Pello Bilbao, Ben O’Connor, Georg Zimmermann, Esteban Chaves and Antonio Pedreras. Julian Alaphilippe is 22 seconds behind them.

23km to go: Looking for his first ever Grand Tour stage win, the Latvian Israel-Premier Tech rider Krists Neilands begins his descent towards the finish line with a handy 24-second lead over the chasing posse.

28km to go: Neilands has crested the summit of the Côte de la Chapelle-Marcousse with a lead of 39 seconds over a group of five riders including Pello Bilbao. Julian Alaphilippe does not seem to be among them.

30km to go: Krists Neilands is in the closing stages of the climb with a lead of 36 seconds over those chasing him. Ineos Grenadiers are towing the peloton along.

30km to go: Mathieu van der Poel’s attack comes to an end and he drops back to the peloton. Wout van Aert is currently stranded in no-man’s land, 38 seconds ahead of the bunch but three minutes behind the leader.

33km to go: With over four kilometres of the climb remaining, Israel-Premier Tech rider Krists Neilands has attacked and opened a gap of 16 seconds on the leading group.

34km to go: The leaders hit the final climb with the gap to the peloton at 3min 04sec. Wout van Aert and Mathiu van der Poel are between the two groups, only 2min 28sec behind the leaders.

36km to go: The lead group of 14 riders are approaching the foot of the final climb to the Côte de la Chapelle-Marcousse. It’s a category three at 980m high, 6.5km in length and has an average gradient of 5.6%.

41km to go: Onwards and downwards they go on another very eventful day on this Tour de France . At the finish line, the mercury on the thermometer is in the very early forties.

43km to go: Chasing the leaders, Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel have put 10 seconds between themselves and the peloton.

46km to go: Our lead group of 14 riders are are burning rubber down the penultimate descent of the stage at 63km per hour with the gap back to the peloton at 2min 22sec.

51km to go: Krists Neilands opens a small gap on the latest descent, with the 13 others in the breakaway group in hot pursuit, breathing down his neck.

54km to go: There are 54 kilometres left in this stage and 40 of them are downhill.

The riders head downhill after a bib climb

56km to go: Despite appeals from other teams, Ineos Grenadiers are refusing to do any work in the peloton as they don’t want to hamper Michal Kwiatkowski’s chances of winning the stage. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin–Deceuninck) is currently on the front of the peloton and the gap is down to 2min 20sec.

58km to go: “This has been an absolute riot of a day so far,” writes Bill Preston. “The plan for everyone appears to be ‘Get a stomp on!’ Which is the sort of racing tactics I admire and endorse. It could only be more fun if team radios were randomly jammed.

“And [we had] a man dressed as a fish who had a Pinot sign. Which is all kinds of brilliant. Hopefully, and given recent events, the final final break in whatever form it is will come to an accord to neutralize the final descent, and let their thrilling heroics on the way up the final ascent decide the order of the day.”

60km to go: Luke Durbridge (Jayco–AlUla) is doing the donkey work at the front of the peloton, upping the pace. With Pello Bilbao in the lead group, he’s trying to narrow the gap to protect Simon Yates’ GC position of sixth.

65km to go: On motorbike pillion duty for Eurosport at the back of the peloton, Jens Voigt is explaining how unpleasant it is for the riders today. “It’s 36 degrees celsius, there’s not a single tree so there’s no protection from the wind and it’s up and down all day long,” he says. “The roads are absolutely dead, not rolling at all. It’s a horrible day for the riders. It’s hot, no shadow, the speed is crazy fast and won’t slow down, and the road surface is absolutely terrible.” If he’d finished that solioquy with a “Happy birthday, Caleb Ewan!”, it would have been a serious mic-drop moment.

66km to go: Our leaders are maintaining a gap of 3min 10sec to the peloton. With just one categorised climb remaining in this stage, you would imagine today’s stage winner will come from this group of 14.

72km to go: Julian Alaphilippe is making the pace in the lead group. He’ll be relishing the big descent down to today’s finish line.

74km to go: In the lead group, Cofidis rider Anthony Perez waves his bidon in front of a nearby TV camera, presumably to let the occupants of his team car know he is in need of liquid refreshment. It’s hot out there.

76km to go: Our lead group of 14 riders have a three-minute lead over the peloton, which is being towed along by several Jumbo-Visma riders. Jonas Vingegaard is conspicuous in yellow about five from the front.

78km to go: Esteban Chavez finishes the most recent climb with a lead of 3min 20sec over the peloton and is now facing back-to-back uncategorised climbs. The Colombian rejoins the breakaway from which he recently broke away.

83km to go: Chavez remains out in front, followed by Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal-Quick Step), Kasper Asgreen (Soudal–Quick-Step), Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty), Nick Schultz and Krists Neilands (Israel-Premier Tech), Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious), Warren Barguil (Arkea-Samsic), Mattias Skjelmose (Lidl-Trek), Ben O’Connor (AG2R-Citroën), Harold Tejada (Astana), Antonio Pedrero (Movistar), Anthony Perez (Cofidis) and Michal Kwiatkowski (Ineos Grenadiers).

84km to go: Unwilling to give anyone, including me, a moment’s peace or respite, Esteban Chaves from EF Education-EasyPost attacks off the front of the lead group as the lead group tackle the category three Côte de Saint-Victor-la-Rivière. Why, Estebean? Why? He opens a gap of 32 seconds and looks over his shoulders a couple of times, possibly questioning the wisdom of his move as he has no company and might burn himself out.

85km to go: We have 14 riders in front as the Alaphilippe group finally catches the leaders. The gap to the peloton is 2min 54sec.

89km to go: Julian Alaphilippe is making up time on the leaders on this descent. He’s 20 seconds behind them.

94km to go: WIth most of the field descending. Our lead group now consists of Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty), Nick Schultz (Israal-Premier Tech), Esteban Chaves (EF Education-EasyPost), Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious), Warren Barguil (Arkea-Samsic), Mattias Skjelmose (Lidl-Trek) and Ben O’Connor (AG2R-Citroën).

On motrobike analysis duty for Eurosport, he asks somebody in the Bahrain-Victorious team car if winning the stage or moving into the top 10 on GC is the main priority for Pello Bilbao. He gets a non-commital answer but reading between the lines the suggestion is that it’s the stage win they want, because obviously if he can secure that, the GC will look after itself.

98km to go: The peloton has been decimated on the way up that climb but what’s left of it is led over the summit by Jumbo-Visma’s Wout van Aert. They’re 2min 36sec behind the leaders.

101km to go: “Caleb Ewan is already having a bad enough birthday, but how far back does he have to get before he will be timed out automatically?” asked Richard O’Hagan.

I think we need somebody to win the stage before the stopwatch starts but Caleb won’t be giving Pello Bilbao a slice of birthday cake if he keeps up this blistering pace in the lead group.

102km to go: Our lead seven riders have opened a lead of 40 seconds over the chase group containing Julian Alaphilippe. The leaders won’t want Alaphilippe joining them, as his presence in the breakaway would significantly reduce their individual chances of winning the stage. The peloton is 2min 18sec behind the leaders.

104km to go: Kasper Asgreen is dropped from the lead group, which has now been joined by Ben O’Connor. Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious) is making a blistering pace as he tries to get into the top 10 on GC. He’s 7min 37sec behind Jonas Vingegaard on the leaderboard.

106km to go: The lead group are on their way up the Col de la Croix Saint-Robert. It’s six kilometres long, 1,451m high and has an average gradient of 6.3%. The peloton is 1min 52sec behind them.

106km to go: Most of the sprinters are riding together in a group six minutes behind the leaders. Caleb Ewan is already 12 minutes off the pace.

107km: Our leading group of seven riders pass through the intermediate sprint at the foot of the category two Col de la Croix Saint-Robert. Kasper Asgreen is first across the line, taking €1,500 for the team beer kitty. Alphilippe, Ben O’Connor and three others are 24 seconds behind.

109km to go: Jumbo-Visma have slowed the pace in the yellow jersey group, suggesting the peloton is about to reform at the bottom of the climb. It’s good news for David Gaudu, Romain Bardet and the brothers Yates.

Fans show their support from atop a classic Citroen B14 truck.

111km to go: Kasper Asgreen (Soudal-Quick Step), Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty), Nick Schultz (Israal-Premier Tech), Esteban Chaves (EF Education-EasyPost), Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious), Warren Barguil (Arkea-Samsic) and Mattias Skjelmose (Lidl-Trek) remain out in front, with a lead of 32 seconds over the Alaphilippe quintet. The Gaudu group are now just a minute behind Vingegaard and Pogacar, which is being led by two Jumbo-Visma riders. It looks like they’re going to catch them and reform the peloton.

111km to go: Things finally start to settle down with the next long climb looming. There are almost 100 riders, including the Yates brothers, in the Gaudu group that is 1min 30sec behind the much smaller yellow jersey group.

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