Tour de France: Tadej Pogacar set to clinch back-to-back titles as Wout Van Aert wins Stage 20

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Wout Van Aert claimed victory on Stage 20 of the Tour de France, with Slovenian Tadej Pogacar set to be topped back-to-back champion

Final Up to date: 17/07/21 5:46pm

Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia crosses the road throughout Stage 20 of the Tour de France. (Photograph by Chris Graythen/Getty Photos)

Tadej Pogacar stands to be confirmed as Tour de France champion for the second 12 months in a row after Wout Van Aert received the stage 20 time trial in Saint-Emilion on Saturday.

Van Aert clocked a time of 35 minutes and 53 seconds over the 31 kilometres from Libourne, successful by 21 seconds from Kasper Asgreen to take his second stage of this 12 months’s Tour after his victory over Mont Ventoux on stage 11.

Pogacar’s commanding benefit in yellow was by no means more likely to be put in peril on the roads by way of Bordeaux wine nation, and although Jonas Vingegaard took 25 seconds out of the Slovenian to strengthen his grip on second, Pogacar leads by 5 minutes and 20 seconds forward of Sunday’s parade into Paris.

Vingegaard started the day with solely a six-second benefit over Richard Carapaz in third however clocked the third-fastest time to increase that to 1 minute 43 seconds.

The 24-year-old Jumbo-Visma rider, making his Tour debut and using solely his second profession Grand Tour, is now in line to ship Denmark’s first podium end since Bjarne Riis’ victory in 1996.

Team UAE Emirates' Pogacar celebrates his overall leader yellow jersey on the podium at the end of the 20th stage

Group UAE Emirates’ Pogacar celebrates his general chief yellow jersey on the rostrum on the finish of the twentieth stage

Carapaz’s third for the Ineos Grenadiers will probably be a primary podium for an Ecuadorian within the Tour.

Jumbo-Visma got here into this Tour hoping to problem Pogacar for yellow by way of Primoz Roglic however have recalibrated brilliantly since his week one exit – with this their finest day but as each Van Aert and Vingegaard may have a good time.

“Successful a Tour de France time trial has been one of many greatest aims of my profession and I’ve been actually specializing in this present day so I am glad I can end it off,” Van Aert mentioned.

“The course suited me, it was rolling and far quicker than (stage 5) so it was extra to my benefit. I believe it was the proper day.

“It has been a extremely arduous Tour de France for our workforce however we at all times fought by way of and ultimately we have had three stage wins and we’ve got Jonas in second within the common classification so it is actually a tremendous consequence for a workforce with solely 4 guys left.

“I am actually pleased with how we fought.”

There was no repeat of the drama of final 12 months’s stage 20 time trial, when Pogacar snatched yellow from Roglic on the climb to La Planche des Belles Filles, however nor was there any expectation of something altering given Pogacar’s clear dominance over a depleted discipline.

Solely 142 riders of the 184 who left Brest three weeks in the past began the stage, a lot of them sporting wounds from a punishing version of this race – this Tour has seen the best variety of riders abandon since 2012, when 45 of 198 starters failed to achieve Paris.

As soon as Roglic went residence and Geraint Thomas soldiered on after dislocating a shoulder, Pogacar was left with out critical challengers, and he heads to Paris on Sunday because the proprietor not solely of the yellow jersey however the king of the mountains’ polka dots and the perfect younger rider’s white as properly for a second 12 months working.

After the customary celebrations on the parade into Paris will come the one unresolved storyline of this Tour, with Mark Cavendish getting his closing probability of this 12 months’s Tour to interrupt Eddy Merckx’s report of 35 Tour stage victories.

The Manxman’s return to kind, and to the Tour, has adopted a Hollywood script up to now, so there can be no higher place for the grand ending than within the shadow of the Arc de Triomphe.



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