For the first time ever in the history of the biggest cycling race in the world, the pros were led by an all-electric vehicle. Only yesterday, the ŠKODA ENYAQ iV was revealed at the world premiere in Prague and, later today, millions of cycling fans could see it in action at stage 5 of the Tour. A historically unparalleled feat illustrates the dedication of ŠKODA to the cycling world. The brand-new ŠKODA flagship heralds the dawn of a new era for both the brand and its fans. And it wasn’t a one-time thing. The ENYAQ iV will make two more appearances over the 2020 Tour de France including the famed Champs-Élysées grand finish, continuing to make a statement of a game-changing vehicle.
The ENYAQ iV launching a stage of the Tour isn’t a singular event only because its yesterday’s world premiere but also because it marks the first time in history the Tour de France’s leading car became a fully-electric vehicle. ENYAQ iV is ŠKODA’s first model using the modular electrification toolkit (MEB) as opposed to previous models with electric or plug-in hybrid powertrains. The main role of the Tour de France’s leading car is to function as a ‘mobile captain’s bridge’ with none other than Christian Prudhomme, the Tour’s and A.S.O.’s director, aboard. As you might have already noticed, the Tour de France director’s car isn’t quite the same ENYAQ iV model that debuted yesterday but underwent significant changes for this specific role. The characteristic red paintjob, six antennas, yellow windscreen attachment, Tour de France decals or the panoramic glass roof are the exterior tell-tale signs of the leading car and stayed the same even when the usual trusty SUPERB model got switched for the brand-new ENYAQ iV.
What sets the car itself apart and will be available when it hits the market later this year are several features such as 20“ alloy wheels, 13“ dashboard display, a phone box with inductive charging and more. ENYAQ iV will be available in several versions, with the battery pack ranging from 55 kWh to 82 kWh and a single charge will take you up to 500 km. More than enough for today’s stage.
Within the race, the leading car confirmed its irreplaceable function. Comfortably seated in the back of the car’s spacious interior, Mr Prudhomme used a two-way radio with six channels, located between the front seats, to communicate with team and service cars, his race marshals and the rest of the vital crew to control the whole course of the fifth stage.
He waved the flag at “Kilometre Zero” under the hot midday sun and the racing was on. Christian Prudhomme then disappeared under the retractable glass roof to relax and enjoy the day. That is because stage 5 finally offered some peace after days of intense action. The peloton didn’t need to chase any breakaways and rolled in a fairly organized fashion towards the finishing line. However, there were significant changes in the points competition.
As if Sam Bennett knew which stage to pick, he went and took the ŠKODA green jersey away from its usual owner, Peter Sagan. He first bested the Slovak in the ŠKODA sprint at L’Épine and then finished in front of him in the bunch sprint towards the finish line as well. Bennett now leads the points competition with 123 points. Peter Sagan sits in second with 114 points.
🎙️ 🇮🇪 @Sammmy_Be
The man from the Emerald Isle is in green☘️
— Tour de France™ (@LeTour) September 2, 2020
However, it was not Sam Bennett who won the glory in Privas. Wout van Aert proved to be the strongest in the uphill sprint towards the finish line and could lift his arms up to celebrate his second-ever stage win at the Tour. The Jumbo-Visma team has grabbed its second victory in a row after yesterday’s triumph of Primož Roglič. Are they the strongest team at the Tour? We shall soon find out.
🎙️ 🇧🇪 @WoutvanAert
— Tour de France™ (@LeTour) September 2, 2020
Surprise changes in the general classification happened after the finish. Julien Alaphilippe was shown in post-stage replays taking a bidon from a soigneur with 17.1 km to go. ‘Unauthorised feeding’ in the final 20 km of a stage carries a 20-second time penalty and that got Alaphilippe quickly dropped down to 16th place in the GC.
“Apparently, I took a feed in a non-authorised zone,” Alaphilippe said after the finish. “That’s a 20-second penalty so it’s Yates in the yellow jersey, normally, I don’t know. I’m waiting for the confirmation, for it to be official. If that’s the case, that’s how it goes. It’s the decision of the jury so I can’t do anything about it.”
Indeed he couldn’t do anything about it and it’s Adam Yates who will stand on the start in yellow tomorrow.
“I don’t think any rider would want to take the jersey like this,” Yates said. “I only just find out now that Julian had taken a late feed but I don’t think, like I said, that anybody wants to take the jersey like this. I wanted to try something tomorrow but I guess we’ll wear the jersey tomorrow now but I’ll continue as normal and try and win stages.”
Stage five results: Gap to Privas (183 km)
1. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) – 4:21:22
2. Cees Bol (Team Sunweb)
3. Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)
4. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe)
5. Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo)
6. Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-Scott)
7. Bryan Coquard (B&B Hotels – Vital Concept)
8. Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal)
9. Clément Venturini (Ag2r La Mondiale)
10. Hugo Hofstetter (Israel Start-Up Nation)
General classification after stage five
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) – 22:28:26
2. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) + 4s
3. Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) + 7s
4. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) + 11s
5. Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) + 13s
6. Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) + 17s
7. Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma)
8. Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic)
9. Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott)
10. Miguel Ángel López (Astana)