A perfect team effort delivers Mads Pedersen another podium

Trek-Segafredo go all-in as they seek another win at the Tour de France

“Perfect,” answered Mads Pedersen when asked about his Team’s effort today in Stage 15. “Simple – I just didn’t finish it off.”

In Mads defense, it was very close, and when you sprint against Wout Van Aert and Jasper Philipsen, even a perfectly executed team plan does not guarantee a win.

But it did result in Mads taking another third place in a sprint finish. “Everyone did a perfect job the whole day, and Jasper (Stuyven) did a perfect lead out,” he continued.

In fact, the lead-out was impressive. When Mads launched from Jasper’s wheel the win almost looked assured, but he could not hold off the speedy Philipsen and Van Aert.

“They just came really fast at the end. I couldn’t really open [my sprint] later than that so we can be happy,” continued Mads. “It was a super team effort today,” he reiterated.

With Jumbo-Visma happy with the two-man breakaway that detached in the early part of the race, it would always be up to those seeking a stage win to control the move. And the entire Team was on board.

Then, when the escapees were brought back, the Team’s climbers pulled a searing pace on the Côte des Cammazes, ridding the pure sprinters and paring the peloton to around 50 riders.

“The last climb, I felt pretty good, and of course, it was super hard; we shouldn’t go a lot faster than that,” smiled Mads. “It was the plan to go like this, so it was really perfect.”

Tony leads the way.

All-in for Mads.

Two antagonists attacked over the top of the category-three climb and made the race thrilling right until the last kilometer. The bunch roared past the last escapee under the red kite.  Then Stuyven went to work.

With Philipsen and Van Aert lurking, even perfect teamwork couldn’t give Mads his second win after his Stage 13 brilliancy.  But it made for a beautiful race to watch and gave the Team a boost heading into the rest day ahead of the final week.

“Happy that we could do it in the heat,” added Mads, who never was good when the temperature rose above 30 Celsius.  At this year’s Tour, he has proved he can take that on too.

Some like it hot.