Mathieu Jurgenson (Movistar) pulled away with just under five miles and led hard going into the final climb at Puy de Dôme.
Jorgenson stayed away for a long time, but Woods and Matej Mohoric (Bahrain) qualified up front in a reckless finish. Woods caught Jornson in the final kilometer and then pulled away to take the win.
– I have to pinch my arm, I can’t believe I did that. I’m 36 and it’s not getting any younger, so to finally make it to the Tour de France is huge,” Woods told the organizer after the stage.
There was also heat in the aggregate when Tadej Pogacar (UAE) held off Jonas Vingaard (Jumbo-Visma) with a careless finish.
Danis Vinggaard had a 25-second lead over his rival before the stage, but had to watch Pogacar account for eight seconds on Sunday’s stage. Pogacar kept a consistently higher pace going into the final, but the streak didn’t work out for Vingegaard, and so the Dane was able to limit his time loss.
Uno X is broken
Uno x Jonas Abrahamsen and Jonas Gregaard soon left the center court after the start of the stage. Together with twelve strong runners, they formed a break that eventually gained a ten-minute lead into the main field.
It gradually became clear that the stage win would be among the 14 on the prologue. Abrahamsen acted as an assistant rider for his teammate and eventually had to drop out. Gregaard rode to the finish to a solid eighth place.
– It was a hot day, but a good one. We were joking around a bit more when they got away, so it was a little upsetting. It’s still a great result, not many have entered the top 10 in their first Tour de France, Gregard told TV 2 after the stage.
The finish of the legendary Puy de Dôme mountain was first used 35 years ago. The last four kilometers up the mountain in Clermont-Ferrand offered a 12% climb.
Johnny Wiltz was the reigning champ on the mountain before Sunday. He won in 1988, when the mountain was last climbed.
The first rest day of the year awaits on Monday, before the riders head out on the mountain podium on Tuesday.
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