Victory all but secured for Tour de France champ

1 week ago 12

There was nary play this time, and Tadej Pogacar is each but guaranteed to triumph a 2nd consecutive Tour de France.

The defending champion from Slovenia conscionable needed to play it harmless successful Saturday's clip proceedings to enactment the finishing touches to his summertime triumph and clasp his yellowish jersey. That's precisely what helium did, placing eighth astir 1 infinitesimal down signifier victor Wout van Aert.

It was a crisp opposition to past year's last contention against the timepiece astatine the Planche des Belles Filles, wherever the UAE Team Emirates rider clinched the wide triumph with a last-minute effort successful 1 of the astir singular turnarounds successful the past of the race.

"Last twelvemonth everything was decided connected the past (time trial) and the emotions were by acold stronger," Pogacar said.

Tadej Pogacar, successful the yellowish jersey, during the Tour de France signifier 20. (Getty)

With the last time of the contention connected Sunday usually uneventful until the past sprint connected the Champs-Elysees, the Stage 20 clip proceedings marked the past superior trial aft astir 3 exhausting weeks.

Given Pogacar's adjacent six-minute vantage astatine the start, it was improbable idiosyncratic would beryllium capable to sound the Slovenian disconnected his perch.

As Van Aert claimed the 31km signifier from Libourne to Saint-Emilion, Pogacar did not instrumentality immoderate risks, conceding 57 seconds to the Belgian champion. He volition transportation an insurmountable pb of 5 minutes, 20 seconds into the last day, a 109km signifier from Chatou to Paris.

Pogacar won the delayed Tour past September astatine 21 and became the youngest champion successful 116 years.

"I can't comparison some Tour de France victories. I can't accidental which 1 is much beautiful," helium said. "This time, I took the yellowish jersey rather earlier. It has been wholly different."

Pogacar routed each of his rivals during the archetypal week of crash-filled racing. He stamped his authorization connected the contention successful the archetypal clip proceedings successful Laval and snatched the yellowish jersey successful the Alps. He reigned ultimate successful the Pyrenees with 2 consecutive signifier wins, and did not request to spell afloat state successful the burning vigor enveloping the vineyards of Saint-Emilion.

It was Van Aert's 2nd signifier triumph this twelvemonth aft the versatile Belgian claimed the treble ascent of the Mont Ventoux.

On a people with predominant changes of direction, Van Aert delivered a vintage show of earthy powerfulness to assertion a 5th idiosyncratic signifier triumph astatine the Tour.

Van Aert clocked 35:53, winning by 21 seconds up of second-placed Kasper Asgreen. Jonas Vingegaard was third, 32 seconds disconnected the pace.

"It is rather something," Van Aert said. "Winning a Tour de France clip proceedings has been 1 of the biggest objectives successful my career. I've been truly focused connected this time successful the past mates of days, and I'm truthful blessed that I tin decorativeness it off. The people was cleanable for me, it was much rolling and faster than the archetypal TT."

Tadej Pogacar celebrates astatine accomplishment during the 20th signifier of the Tour de France. (Getty)

Van Aert tin sprint, ascent and clip trial, but is excessively dense to combat for the wide classification. He worked successful enactment of Jumbo-Visma person Primoz Roglic and was fixed much leeway by his squad aft Roglic retired from the race.

"It's been a existent hard Tour de France for our team, but successful the end, we person 3 signifier wins and we person Jonas successful 2nd connected GC, which is an astonishing effect for lone 4 guys left, truthful I'm truly arrogant of however we fight."

Overall, Vingegaard cemented his runner-up spot up of Richard Carapaz, who lagged 7:03 down Pogacar.

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