In the battle for the yellow jersey, Pogačar was the man of the day on Stage 8. One minute and 21 seconds were lost yesterday and he was fighting back from the disappointment of that previous stage when he was caught up behind a crash and subsequently missed the split in the crosswinds.
After following the pace-setting of Jumbo-Visma on the climb of the Port de Balès, the 21-year-old was the first to attack on the Col de Peyresourde, going clear with Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) and Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic).
The trio didn't work particularly well together and the main group of climbers reformed. Defending Tour de France champion Egan Bernal, current race leader Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), Rigoberto Urán (EF), Mikel Landa (Bahrain) Guillaume Martin (Cofidis), Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) and Romain Bardet (AG2R) all rallied from being dropped to reunite with the Slovenians and Quintana.
Pogačar then waltzed away in a follow-up attack 12.7 kms from the finish, leaving the contenders to ride together to the finish.
The Slovenian crested the climb with a minute's advantage on the yellow jersey group, and held onto most of his advantage on the descent to the finish. He ended up crossing the line with 40 seconds lead on his GC rivals, reducing his gap to yellow-jersey holder Adam Yates to 48 seconds.
“Today felt really good," said Pogačar. "I saw the opportunity on the last climb and I went full gas to the top so I got the gap. The descent was just straight downhill, so I lost some time on the descent probably because I was alone.
"40 seconds, it was a really good day for me today. The Tour has not finished… it’s just started.”
The Tour de France continues in the Pyrenees tomorrow, with another mountainous stage from Pau to Laurens set to test the peloton with steep climbs on the agenda. Watch the action from 8.05pm AEST on the SBS ŠKODA Tour Tracker and from 8.30pm on SBS HD and SBS On Demand.