Mikkel Honoré carried the flag for the Wolfpack on stage 16.
It was another hot day at the Grande Boucle, despite the peloton climbing to more than 1500 meters on their way to Foix, a stage finish for the fourth time this century. On the other hand, coming after a rest day, the peloton was in no mood to go full gas again from the start, so they allowed a large group to go clear as soon as the flag was dropped.
Among the 29-man who enjoyed an advantage of eight minutes as they began tackling the tough Port de Lers was Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl’s Mikkel Honoré. The Dane, who was in the break also last week on the roads to Carcassonne, put in a strong effort under the scorching sun and remained off the front until the attacks began coming, on the steep part of the first-category ascent.
Despite losing contact there, Mikkel soldiered on and finished just outside the top 10 but ahead of the yellow jersey group the stage won by Hugo Houle (Israel-PremierTech): “I gave it a go today. We attacked early and opened a good gap, and it was nice to be there with the other guys on the first climb. It wasn’t easy there with the heat and I suffered, so I couldn’t go when the others accelerated. I gave it a go today, it didn’t work out, but we’ll keep on trying.”
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele / Getty Images