Gorgeous Pogacar claims maiden Tour title in anti-climatic finale

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© Reuters. Tour de France

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By Julien Pretot

PARIS (Reuters) – Tadej Pogacar turned the primary Slovenian to win the Tour de France after he retained the yellow jersey within the twenty first stage on Sunday, a day after he pulled off a serious coup to take the general lead.

Whereas Sam Bennett gained the ultimate stage, the day belonged to Staff UAE Emirates rider Pogacar, who will rejoice his twenty second birthday on Monday and is the youngest man to win the race since Henri Cornet in 1904.

Pogacar, who claimed the yellow jersey from a surprised Primoz Roglic with a monumental efficiency in Saturday’s time trial, additionally gained the white jersey for the very best Beneath-25 rider and the polka dot jersey for the mountains classification.

Roglic ended up second, 59 seconds behind, with Australian Richie Porte taking third place, 3:30 off the tempo.

“That is an unbelievable feeling, standing right here in Paris on the highest of the rostrum. It was a tremendous three weeks, an unbelievable journey,” mentioned Pogacar after the primary one-two for one nation since Bradley Wiggins completed forward of fellow Briton Chris Froome in 2012.

“I need to thank all those that made it occur. It was three memorable weeks on the French roads, with unbelievable crowds. I will not discover the phrases to precise my emotions.”

Pogacar additionally gained three levels in one of the crucial sensible particular person performances in current Tour historical past, leaving Roglic’s dominant Jumbo-Visma crew questioning what went mistaken.

“We did not see it coming,” mentioned Roglic’s crew mate and former Tour runner-up Tom Dumoulin.

Bennett turned the primary Irishman since Sean Kelly in 1989 to win the inexperienced jersey for the factors classification, forward of Peter Sagan who was trying to declare it for a record-extending eighth time.

Bennett was the strongest on the finish of the 122-km trip from Mantes-la Jolie on Sunday, beating world champion Mads Pedersen, with Sagan coming residence third.

Swiss Marc Hirschi, the previous Beneath-23 world champion was voted probably the most aggressive on the race after notably taking an excellent win within the longest stage of the 107th version.

Ineos-Grenadiers had a Tour to neglect as defending champion Egan Bernal dropped out of competition within the Jura stage to the Grand Colombier, pulling out a number of days later with again pains.

They recovered some pleasure afterward, nonetheless, as Michal Kwiatkowski, their unsung hero for 5 years, claimed an emotional stage win — though that was definitely not sufficient for a crew who had gained seven of the earlier eight editions.

It was an anti-climatic finale on the Champs-Elysees as solely 5,000 followers have been allowed on the well-known avenue as a precaution in opposition to the coronavirus.

France reported 13,498 new confirmed COVID-19 instances over the earlier 24 hours on Saturday, setting one other document in day by day further infections because the begin of the epidemic.

Reaching the Champs-Elysees was, nonetheless, a aid for organisers, who had imposed strict sanitary guidelines to guard the race ‘bubble’.

The bubble didn’t burst as solely 4 crew workers members examined optimistic and have been faraway from the race, stopping a selection that would have stopped the Tour.

No rider examined optimistic.

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