Tour de France: Tadej Pogacar on the verge of winning after a superb race against the clock

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Primoz Roglic was inconsolable after losing the yellow jersey on the penultimate stage

Tadej Pogacar is set to win the Tour de France ahead of big favorite Primoz Roglic in one of the most spectacular turnovers in racing history.

Pogacar, 21, will be confirmed as the youngest winner in 110 years at the end of Sunday’s largely processional stage in Paris.

The UAE-Team Emirates rider made up for a 57-second deficit in Roglic, who was considered a much stronger rider in the stage 20 time trial at La Planche des Belles Filles.

It will be a first Grand Tour victory for Slovenian Pogacar, who took the yellow jersey from compatriot Roglic after holding it for 13 days.

Pogacar is now 59 seconds ahead of Roglic at the end of a dramatic day reminiscent of the 1989 Tour, when Greg LeMond unexpectedly revised Laurent Fignon in a final day time trial to win by eight seconds. .

Richie Porte of Trek-Segafredo will be on the podium in Paris for the first time, taking third, three minutes and 30 seconds behind.

Pogacar won the stage, one minute 21 seconds ahead of Roglic’s Jumbo-Visma teammate, Tom Dumoulin. Porte climbed to third place overall after finishing third on the stage.

Briton Adam Yates of Mitchelton-Scott will finish ninth in the general classification, 9mins 25secs behind the winner.

Roglic looked unbeatable throughout the race

What happened to Roglic?

Roglic appeared imperious throughout the three-week race thanks to the support of his powerful team, made up of some of the best runners in the sport, including Dumoulin, Wout van Aert and Sepp Kuss.

The 36 km stage from Lure to La Planche des Belles Filles was a difficult course which ended, exceptionally for the time trial, with a category 1 climb. Roglic, 30, was considered a better against the clock than Pogacar and started the stage strong.

But Roglic ran into issues when switching from the super-fast specialty time trial bikes to a more conventional road machine before the climb, struggling to snap into his pedals, wobbling when pushed and never seeming. find your typical rhythm.

Roglic, who claimed his first Grand Tour victory at last year’s Vuelta a Espana, looked desperate as he crossed the line, his helmet pushed up and slightly distorted, already knowing he had lost the race.

Desperation turned to confusion and discouragement as he sat on the floor in his yellow jumpsuit, trying to figure out how he had committed one of the biggest chokes in modern cycling.

And as Pogacar sat down for her post-race TV interview, Roglic interrupted her to hug her compatriot.

“I just didn’t push enough,” Roglic said. “It was like that. I was more and more without the power I needed but I gave it my all until the end.

“We’ll see what happens next. I can be happy with the races we’ve shown here so let’s take the positive things off. “

Tadej Pogacar
Pogacar won three stages in this year’s race

From a distant second, Pogacar takes it all

Roglic had been favorite to win the 107th edition of the biggest cycling race, alongside defending champion Egan Bernal of Ineos Grenadiers.

However, Bernal abandoned the race before stage 17 following a disastrous climb from the Grand Colombier on stage 15, where he broke down and lost more than seven minutes to Roglic.

It was one of the biggest drops in form for a defending champion in recent history and ended Ineos’ record of winning every Tour since 2015, including four as Team Sky.

Ineos looked set to have something to celebrate as they tried to seal the Mountain King’s polka dot jersey thanks to their protected second rider Richard Carapaz.

But despite attempts by 2019 Giro d’Italia winner Carapaz to go through a slow first section on purpose before blowing up the mountain, Pogacar’s epic performance eclipsed him and he took the jersey.

This is the second of three jerseys that Pogacar will claim in this year’s race – it will also take over the white jersey of the young riders.

In total, Pogacar takes home 500,000 euros (£ 458,270) for the yellow jersey, 25,000 euros (£ 22,900) for the King of the Mountains prize and an additional 20,000 euros (£ 18,300) for being the best placed young rider.

“I’m really proud of the team,” said Pogacar. “They made such a big effort. We dreamed of the yellow jersey from the start. Unbelievable.

“It wasn’t just me today, we needed the whole team for the recognition. I knew every corner and knew exactly where to accelerate. Congratulations to all my team.

“I didn’t hear anything on the radio in the last five kilometers because the fans were too loud so I just went all out.

“My dream was just to be in the Tour de France and now I’ve won it. It’s incredible. “

grand_tour_heroes

Laurent Fignon
Similar scenes: Fignon, like Roglic, is inconsolable on the line after losing the Tour de Paris in 1989

General classification after stage 20

1. Tadej Pogacar (Slo / UAE Team Emirates) 84hrs 26mins 33secs

2. Primoz Roglic (Slo / Jumbo-Visma) + 59secs

3. Richie Porte (Aus / Trek-Segafredo) + 3 minutes 30 seconds

4. Mikel Landa (Spa / Bahrain McLaren) + 5mins 58secs

5. Enric Mas (Spa / Movistar) + 6mins 07secs

6. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col / Astana) + 6mins 47secs

7. Tom Dumoulin (Ned / Jumbo-Visma) + 7 min 48 s

8. Rigoberto Uran (Col / EF Pro Cycling) + 8mins 02secs

9. Adam Yates (GB / Mitchelton-Scott) + 9mins 25secs

10. Damiano Caruso (Ita / Bahreïn McLaren) + 14mins 03secs

Result of step 20

1. Tadej Pogacar (Slo / UAE Team Emirates) 55mins 55secs

2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned / Jumbo-Visma) + 1min 21secs

3. Richie Porte (Aus / Trek-Segafredo) Same time

4. Wout van Aert (Bel / Jumbo Visma) + 1min 31secs

5. Primoz Roglic (Slo / Jumbo-Visma) + 1min 56secs

6. Remi Cavagna (Fra / Deceuninck-Quick-Step) + 1 min 59 s

7. Damiano Caruso (Ita / Bahrain McLaren) + 2mins 29secs

8. David de la Cruz (Spa / UAE Team Emirates) + 2mins 40secs

9. Enric Mas (Spa / Movistar) + 2mins 45secs

10. Rigoberto Uran (Col / EF Pro Cycling) + 2mins 54secs

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