Pogacar wins Tour de France defying COVID victory

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PARIS (AP) – Riding a performance for the ages, Tour de France rookie, 21, Tadej Pogacar was heading to Paris with the iconic yellow jersey of the race leader on Sunday, en route to become the youngest winner of the race on Sunday. post-war flagship event that braved and overcame the worsening coronavirus epidemic in France.

During the 21st and last stage, a traditional procession where only the riders not in the running for the podium run the prestige of stage victory in the sprint to the finish line, the Tour celebrated multiple victories.

First and foremost, for Pogacar, who left the race breathless by snatching the general’s lead from Slovenian compatriot Primoz Roglic at the last possible opportunity, during a dramatic time trial on Saturday, the penultimate stage with the last real race for the title. .

But the Tour was also celebrating a victory – over the coronavirus. He left the departure city of Nice on the Mediterranean three weeks ago, unsure of being able to negotiate unscathed from the epidemic until Sunday’s arrival on the tree-lined boulevard des Champs-Élysées in Paris.

But none of the 176 riders who took the start, nor of the 146 arrivals who were going to Paris, has tested positive in several batteries of tests, validating the bubble of measures put in place by the organizers of the Tour to protect them from the infection. Road fans have always applauded them, mostly through face masks, but were kept away at the start and end of stages.

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