when the heat puts runners to the test

Axel May, edited by Romain Rouillard

13th stage of the Tour de France this Friday between Bourg d’Oisans and Saint-Étienne and a thermometer which will still greatly exceed 35 degrees. Enough to test the body of runners who have already suffered from the heat during the alpine stages of this 2022 edition.

Barely 24 hours after Briton Tom Pidcock’s victory at Alpe d’Huez, the Tour de France riders are once again on deck for the 13th stage between Bourg d’Oisans and Saint-Étienne. At the end of a race in blazing heat, Dane Jonas Vingegaard retained the yellow jersey, while Frenchman Romain Bardet slipped from 2nd to 4th place. This Friday again, the runners will have to deal with the rise in mercury.

Moreover, on Thursday, several of them complained of the heat, despite the relatively cool air in the high mountains. “I had a heat stroke, I had no water for a few kilometers and I have not been able to refuel. You have to recover well, hydrate well and pay attention to failures, because that will be the problem”, explained Valentin Madouas, one of the teammates of climbers David Gaudu and Thibaut Pinot within the Groupama-FDJ team.

37 degrees expected Sunday in Carcassonne

This heat will go crescendo in the next few days on the road to the Tour. Up to 31 degrees expected today in Saint-Etienne, 36 tomorrow in Mende and 37 in Carcassonne on Sunday. Cyril Lemoine, who is taking part in his eighth Tour de France, says that in the event of hot weather, he can drink 10 cans on a single stage.

“All day we have the water bottle in our hands and then we also put ice cubes behind our necks. Some people spray themselves and we open the jersey, so after that we try to do the best,” he says. But if ever a rider accepts a drink from a spectator, the rules of the Tour de France are formal. He does so at his own risk.

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