Pogacar poised to win Tour De France after historic time-trial ride

UAE Team Emirates starlet set to become youngest Tour de France winner of the 21st century

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Tadej Pogacar pulled off one of the most astonishing rides of Tour de France history in the penultimate time trial stage, virtually clinching this year’s Tour.
Tadej Pogacar pulled off one of the most astonishing rides of Tour de France history in the penultimate time trial stage, virtually clinching this year’s Tour.

DUBAI — Tadej Pogacar pulled off one of the most astonishing rides of Tour de France history in the penultimate time trial stage, virtually clinching this year’s Tour in a shock defeat of the long-time race leader Primoz Roglic (Jumbo Visma) at La Planche des Belles Filles mountain top in the Vosges.

Heading into the penultimate stage, Tadej Pogcacar, the 21-year-old Tour debutant, had a gap of 57 seconds to make up on fellow Slovenian, Roglic. The General Classification leader struggled from the start, immediately falling 13 seconds down at the first checkpoint inside the first 14km meanwhile Pogacar was putting in a performance of a lifetime.

In the most dramatic and closest finale to the Tour of the 21st century Pogacar raced up La Planche 48 seconds faster than anyone else and finished the stage with a time of 55 minutes and 55 seconds.

After Saturday’s stage, the UAE Team Emirates’ prodigy has an incredible triple of the yellow jersey, the King of the Mountain’s polka dots jersey and the best young riders’ white jersey and will be crowned the youngest post-war winner of the Tour after tomorrow’s final stage.

Pogacar said, “I don’t know what to say. I think I’m dreaming. I’m really proud of the team. They did such a big effort. We were dreaming of the yellow jersey from the start and we achieved it. It’s amazing.

“It was not just me today, we needed the whole team for the recon. I knew every corner and knew exactly where to accelerate. Congratulations to all my team.

“I was listening to my radio in the first part but then on the climb I didn’t hear anything in the final five kilometers because the fans were too loud, so I just went full gas from the bottom to the top.

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

Stage 20 Results: Tadej Pogacar (SLO) UAE Team Emirates 55’55”; Tom Dumoulin (NED) Team Jumbo-Visma +1’21”; Richie Porte (AUS) Trek-Segafredo +1’21.

General Classification after Stage 20: Tadej Pogacar (SLO) UAE Team Emirates 84:26’33”; Primoz Roglic (SLO) Team Jumbo Visma +00’59”; Richie Porte (AUS) Trek-Segafredo +3’30”. — SG


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