Outside of national championships, Bob Jungels' last win was at the 2019 Kuurne-Bruxels-Kuurne, and today at the Tour de France he broke the cycle as he put on an incredible performance en route to a big solo win in the final day of the first week.
“This is huge, this is what I came for. I know this means a lot to the team. Last year it was very difficult with operations. To win this way… It's my way of racing, my way of winning," Jungels said in a post-race interview. After finishing the Tour de Suisse in sixth place he had signaled to be carrying form that he was yet to see since joining AG2R Citröen Team, and has put it to good use today in Châtel.
Tour de France: GC stalemate on opening day in the Alps as Bob Jungels returns to best level to win stage nine
His race was in jeopardy as he tested positive for Covid-19 days before the start, but was fiven permission. He dropped out of GC contention alongside team leader Ben O'Connor, but has given his freedom good use. "I'm super happy to see the form getting better every day. But to do such a thing? I knew I had to try from afar, because I knew it probably wasn't possible to break away from the favorites on the final climb," he added.
Jungels attack from afar, 64 kilometers away from the finish and clearly had good legs. As a superb time-trialist he was able to keep a consistent power output all the way into the finale. He lost most of his lead in the climb to Pas de Morgins to Thibaut Pinot, but the 29-year old's engine worked with him as he then extended it back up in the descent and rolling climb to the line. “It was funny, it reminded me of my victory in Liège-Bastogne-Liège... I could get some time on the flat and down again. I kept my rhythm, I knew at what pace I wasn't exploding. The last two kilometers were endless, but it's overwhelming, I'm so grateful," he detailed.
Preview - Tour de France 2022 stage 10
“When you come here, you always say there are 21 stages and I'm going to try to win one. The last few days I felt better. Yesterday I participated, but there is still a big difference between participating and winning," Jungels said. "I took all the risks I could. It worked. I want to thank my teammates and everyone who believed in me over the years, everyone who had faith. Thank you," he concluded.