Vingegaard breaks through the Pogacar to win the stage and nearly seal the glory in the Tour de France | Tour de France


Tadej Pogakar’s hopes of displacing Jonas Weinggaard at the Tour de France have faded after the final mountain stage in the Pyrenees, in which the Dane consolidated his overall lead, with only three stages remaining from this year’s race.

As at Col du Granon, Pogacar lost contact with Vingegaard midway through the final climb, after a fierce shift in speed from fellow Jumbo-Visma Wout van Aert further away the Slovenian. Vingegaard rode to the finish in Hautacam to take his second mountaintop win, while Pogacar reached across the finish line just over a minute later.

The Tour’s last day in the mountains before it turned and began the journey north towards Paris brought more stifling heat and a lot of suffering. Pogacar was one of those who suffered the most, finishing the stage in ripped shorts after colliding on the penultimate climb drop. Once again, the leading duo has surpassed its peers.

After Chris Froome pulled out before the start due to a positive Covid test, they went head-to-head on the narrow ascent of Cole de Spandell, the penultimate ascent of the day. Pogacar’s acceleration was matched by Vingegaard’s persistence, but more drama was to come in the landing. In an effort to apply more pressure, Pogacar forced the pace and watched the race leader’s rear wheel slip one turn, but Vingegaard somehow recovered and stayed upright.

“I dropped my chain and tried to pedal,” said the Dane. “Of course, you don’t have friction, so the rear wheel slipped and that was a bit wrong, but I was able to get back into Tadej.”

Stage 18 result (Lourdes-Hautacam)

1. Jonas Vingegaard (Den, Jumbo-Visma) 3h 59m 50s
2. Tadej Pogacar (Slo, UAE Team-Emirates) +1:04
3. Wout van Aert (Bel, Jumbo-Visma) +2:10
4. Geraint Thomas (GB, Ineos Grenadiers) +2:54
5. David Gaudu (Fr, Groupama-FDJ) +2:58
6. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz, Astana) +3:09
7. Daniel Martínez (Col, Ineos Grenadiers) st
8. Sepp Kuss (US, Jumbo-Visma) +3:27
9. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus, Bora-Hansgrohe) +4:04
10. Thibaut Pinot (Fr, Groupama-FDJ) +4:09

General classification

  1. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 71h 53m 34s
  2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates) +3m 26s
  3. Geraint Thomas (Ineos) +8m 0s
  4. David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) +11m 5s
  5. Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic) +13m 35s
  6. Louis Meintjes (Intermarché) +13m 43s
  7. Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe) +14m 10s
  8. Romain Bardet (DSM) +16m 11s
  9. Aleksey Lutsenko (Astana) +20m 9s
  10. Adam Yates (Ineos) +20m 17s

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Tour de France: Result of stage 18 and GC

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Stage 18 Result (Lourdes-Hautacam)

1. Jonas Weinggaard (Den, Jumbo-Visma) 3 hours 59 minutes 50 seconds
2. Tadej Pojakar (Selo, UAE – UAE) +1: 04
3. Wout van Aert (Bel, Jumbo-Visma) +2: 10
4. Geraint Thomas (GB, Ineos Grenadiers) +2: 54
5. David Godot (Fr, Groupama-FDJ) +2: 58
6. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz, Astana) +3:09
7. Daniel Martinez (Col, Ineos Grenadiers) St.
8. Seb Kos (USA, Jumbo Visma) +3: 27
9. Alexander Vlasov (Russian, Bora – Hansgrohe) +4: 04
10. Tibo Pinot (Fr, Groupama-FDJ) +4:09

General classification

  1. Jonas Vinggaard (Jumbo-Visma) 71 h 53 min 34 s
  2. Tadej Pojakar (UAE – Team Emirates) + 3m, 26s
  3. Gerant Thomas (Aeneos) +8 m 0 s
  4. David Godot (Groupama-FDJ) +11m 5s
  5. Nero Quintana (Arkia Samsik) +13 months and 35 minutes
  6. Louis Meintjes (Intermarché) +13 months and 43 seconds
  7. Alexander Vlasov (Bura-Hansgrohe) +14 min 10 sec
  8. Roman Bardet (DSM) +16m 11s
  9. Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) +20 min 9 sec
  10. Adam Yates (Ineos) +20min 17sec

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Moments later, it was Pogacar’s turn to get it wrong. He overcooked a curve on his left hand and he ended up in gravel on the side of the road. When he got to his feet, Vingegaard lost his speed and set free to climb until the defending champion regained his composure. When the double-round winner returned to his side, the pair shook hands, in appreciation of Danish sportsmanship.

Of course I waited for him, said Vinggaard. “Tadig went too fast in a corner and got out in the ditch and some gravel, then tried to get back on the road and the bike flipped.”

The leaders deal with the Col de Spandelles during the eighteenth stage
The leaders deal with the Col de Spandelles during the eighteenth stage. Photo: Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images

Prior to that, Van Aert led the final break away from boarding at Outacam, with Thibaut Bennott and Inios Grenadiers teammate Geirant Thomas Danny Martinez.

But by the time the trio entered the last six kilometres, the Vingegaard-Pogacar Express was coming fast and Van Aert had to forget his personal ambitions and resume his cavalry support missions.

“Theatre, Col du Granon and today are really good examples of how strong this team is,” said Vinggaard. “I am so happy to have such a strong team around me. To have Wout van Aert, the best rider in the world, as an assistant, the green jersey. They were all incredibly strong so I have to thank them many times.”

Down the mountain, Thomas was going through the mill again. In what may be his best performance of the tour, his flexibility and cunning ensured that he retained third place overall, despite attempts by David Gaudu and Nairo Quintana to slip past him.

“I’ve been living times high and low today,” said the Welshman. “I felt fine when it was starting, just starting to ride at my own pace.

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    “The last climb I wanted to stay with them up to the steep part, but I struggled there and had a bit of a bad patch. I came in a bit, as soon as I changed my bike [after a puncture]. “We still have tomorrow with crosswinds all day, because nothing is clear about this race,” he said of Friday’s stage for Cahors. “But I will try to recover and prepare for the trial of time.”

    Vingegaard now drives the Pogacar by about three and a half minutes. There is one final showdown in the singles trial on Saturday, before the festive stage in Paris on Sunday afternoon. The Dane may not yet want to talk about it, but barring an unprecedented disaster, the race is being won.



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