The French atomized, the Italians scattered, the Belgians overwhelmed. These three nations, totaling 54 victories out of the 106 completed Tours de France, have not been at the party since the start of the Tour de France. Among the great traditional cycling nations, only Spain saves the honor, far from the Colombian and Slovenian headliners who are vying for the first places in the general classification.
With five participants – including one of the main favorites, Primoz Roglic, and a closely guarded youngster, Tadej Pogacar – Slovenia was well represented at the start of Nice. But neither Roglic nor Pogacar then seemed able to crush the competition as they have been doing for two weeks.
→ DOSSIER. Tour de France 2020: all the information to follow this 107th edition
This did not fail to unleash the enthusiasm of the supporters. “In recent days, we’ve seen lots of flags on the side of the road, it’s crazy, said the yellow jersey on the evening of the Loze stage. It gives extra strength. I don’t know what’s going on in the country, but I hope they enjoy it. “
The yellow jersey firmly attached to Slovenian shoulders
Last year, it was the yellow blue blood red flags that had arisen, saluting the exploits of the Colombian, Egan Bernal. But the young prodigy is not able to double the bet this year, eliminated by a mysterious back pain. Mourning a nation where “Cycling is one of the rare points of agreement in a divided country”, according to Emmanuel Hubert, boss of the Arkea-Samsic training which has three Colombians in its ranks.
Miguel Angel Lopez on the revival for Colombia
Bernal out of service and Nairo Quintana handicapped by a nasty elbow injury, the Colombian banner has lost its splendor. It is worn by Rigoberto Uran, 33, a regular in the Top 10 in the big towers and by Miguel Angel Lopez, 26, also subscribed to the rolls of honor. Son of a very poor family, this pure product of the work of Colombian detectors, who crisscross the country in search of new nuggets, has however taken a further step after winning the formidable stage of the Loze pass, this Wednesday, September 16 .
→ ROUTE. Tour de France 2020: the map of stages
If we can speak of a Colombian school, with a strong federation founded in the 1930s, Slovenia is a newcomer in the field of cycling. The national sports are rather basketball, handball and especially and skiing, in all its forms: jumping, alpine, nordic… It is moreover thanks to images of a spectacular fall that Primoz Roglic, then jumper in skiing in the national team, made its entry on YouTube.
With its 2 million inhabitants, including 1,600 licensed, ten times less than the Auvergne-Rhône Alpes regional league alone, Slovenia has only two professional Continental-level teams (2e division). Colombia is much more provided in terms of clubs and teams, but struggles to impose high level events in the international calendar, mainly due to its geographical location.
However, these two nations come together in an inglorious field, that of doping, where they collect suspensions from professional riders. In this sad exercise, none of the big names of the 2020 Tour, whether Slovenian or Colombian, has ever been mentioned.
→ Stage classification of the day: The complete classification of stage 19 of the Tour de France 2020
→ The general classification: Find the general classification of the Tour de France 2020