Tadej Pogacar’s victory is a triumph to equal the completion of the race itself during the pandemic

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But his sportsmanship and kindness, which he had shown by interrupting Pogacar’s TV interview on Saturday to congratulate him, and again at the press conference later, were again in evidence. As they climbed into Paris arm in arm for the final procession in Paris, the two men smiling and laughing, it was clear that their friendship had survived their gripping battle. It was that kind of tour. Perhaps the threat of Covid-19, the realization that there were far bigger issues, reminded us that we should all be thankful to be here in the race.Paris was still breathtaking, bathed in the red glow of an evening in mid-September, the Arc de Triomphe lit up behind the podium.

Of course, the fact that it was already dark as the ceremony was taking place was another reminder that this tour was taking place two months later than usual due to Covid-19. There were others. Only 5,000 spectators were allowed on the Champs Elysées, making the last day feel less crowded and less hectic. It was also considerably cooler than normal.

The fact that the race reached the French capital, however, was impressive; testifies not only to the protocols in place, but also to the bloodthirsty spirit of the ASO organizers and the French government.

There were times when it seemed risky. Starting from Nice three weeks ago, a city in one of the “red zones” of France with particularly high infection rates, the threat of the two-stroke rule is still present and you are absent, with teams to send. at home if two or more of their 30 employees have tested positive within a seven-day period.

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