Primoz Roglic became the first Slovenian to wear the yellow jersey, taking the lead overall by finishing second in the ninth stage won by his compatriot Tadej Pogacar.
Roglic, co-favorite before the race with the reigning champion Egan Bernal of Colombia, could hold the lead until the end of the three-week Tour in Paris in two weeks. No Slovenian has won a Tour, let alone finished on the podium.
“It’s the perfect position to enter the second week,” said the American. Sepp Kuss, Roglic’s teammate on Jumbo-Visma. “The next steps are steps we would like to control anyway. A few windy steps. Really average mountain stages that could be tricky.
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Pogacar and Roglic finished together, along with others, on the second consecutive day in the Pyrenees. Pogacar, 21, became the youngest stage winner of the Tour since Lance Armstrong in 1993, according to Gracenote.
Brit Adam Yates, who led Roglic by three seconds before Sunday, was dropped on the last of five ranked climbs and fell to eighth overall, 62 seconds behind.
Roglic, 2007 world junior team ski jumping champion, now leads Bernal by 21 seconds with the Frenchman Guillaume Martin in third place, 28 seconds behind. Pogacar took seventh place, 44 seconds behind.
Roglic won the Vuelta a Espana last year, becoming the first Slovenian to win a Grand Tour. Pogacar finished third, becoming the youngest Grand Tour podium since 1974.
The Tour has a day off on Monday, when all runners are due to be tested for coronavirus. An entire team will be sent home if two of its runners or staff test positive.
The flat, 10th stage on Tuesday, starts and ends on two different islands for the first time in the history of the Tour.
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