Tour de France: Tadej Pogacar moves closer to title with Stage 18 victory

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The stage victory strikes Tadej Pogacar to the highest of the king of the mountains classification and means he’s solely the fourth rider in Tour de France historical past to win on consecutive summit finishes

Final Up to date: 15/07/21 7:07pm

Tadej Pogacar is simply the fourth rider in Tour de France historical past to win on consecutive summit finishes

Tadej Pogacar celebrated stage victory in yellow for a second day in a row on the Tour de France and may absolutely quickly begin toasting a second consecutive title after one other dominant show.

In a mirror picture of Wednesday’s finale, Pogacar raced away from Jonas Vingegaard and Richard Carapaz within the remaining few hundred metres of the climb to Luz Ardiden as the highest three got here dwelling in the identical order as their positions within the general standings.

The victory moved Pogacar to the highest of the king of the mountains classification, placing him in line to reach into Paris because the proprietor of three of the 4 race jerseys – yellow, the polka dots, and the very best younger rider’s white – for a second yr in a row.

It additionally made him solely the fourth rider in Tour historical past to win on consecutive summit finishes.

This Tour has claimed many victims, however even when Primoz Roglic or Geraint Thomas had averted damage or incident, it’s onerous to think about anybody being on the extent Pogacar has demonstrated day after day.

“[Cycling] has been a recreation for me since I began,” the UAE Crew Emirates rider mentioned. “It is one I am actually having fun with enjoying.”

Others will disagree. The Ineos Grenadiers bossed the Tour for a lot of the final decade as Crew Sky, however with three days to go they don’t have any victories on this race and no actual hope of seeing Carapaz transfer up from third given Vingegaard’s superior time trialling means.

Figuring out this was their final likelihood, they’d labored to arrange Carapaz for an assault on the ultimate climb however the Ecuadorian couldn’t discover a hole.

The three leaders have been joined within the remaining few kilometres by Enric Mas, the Movistar rider hoping to construct on Spain’s dominance of this climb because it was first used within the Tour within the Nineteen Eighties.

He attacked with 800 metres to go, however Pogacar responded to ease away from Vingegaard and Carapaz for his third stage win of the Tour – one which will increase his result in 5 minutes and 45 seconds.

“It is unbelievable,” Pogacar mentioned. “After yesterday, I felt actually good and I am actually pleased with the win. It is loopy.”

The 130km stage from Pau was the shortest street stage of this yr’s Tour, however back-ended by the hors categorie climbs of the Tourmalet and Luz Ardiden, additionally one of many hardest.

Police search Bahrain Victorious group resort

Police searched the resort of group Bahrain Victorious after stage 17 of the Tour de France on Wednesday night time in Pau.

The day started with information of a police raid on the group resort of Bahrain Victorious in a single day, with French prosecutors asserting a preliminary investigation into doping allegations was underway.

Matej Mohoric had mentioned the group’s riders had nothing to cover and would reply on the street, and it was the Slovenian champion who received in an early break – tackling a lot of the Tourmalet alone with Julian Alaphilippe.

After they have been caught by a bigger chasing group, David Gaudu struck out for glory with some daredevil descending out of the clouds, however the Frenchman couldn’t construct a lot of a spot.

In the long run, there can be no one who might reside with Pogacar – the younger phenom who’s competing in solely his third Grand Tour – however who has collected three stage wins in every and is en path to successful a second general.

Friday’s stage to Libourne is flat, a chance for Mark Cavendish to interrupt Eddy Merckx’s document of 34 Tour stage wins outright, earlier than Saturday’s time trial will convey the ultimate modifications to the general standings.

However given Pogacar gained the stage 5 time trial, the alternatives to dislodge him have already gone.

“Why ought to I be frightened?” he mentioned. “For the time trial, we’ll see. It’s a self-discipline the place I all the time need to do my greatest.

“You may lose six minutes in a time trial, it is occurred earlier than, however I am fairly assured.”



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