• Tadej Pogacar of UAE Team Emirates stormed the time trial, winning the stage and taking the yellow jersey on Stage 20 of the 2020 Tour de France (Getty)Source: Getty
Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) produced one of the greatest time trial performances in Tour de France history, overhauling a 57-second gap to previous race leader Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) to take the stage win, the mountains jersey and the ultimate prize, the yellow jersey.
SBS Cycling Central

20 Sep 2020 - 3:21 AM  UPDATED 20 Sep 2020 - 4:42 AM

'Now I can retire happy, this means everything' - Porte climbs onto Paris podium
Richie Porte raced the time trial of his life on the Planche des Belles Filles, riding himself onto the podium in Paris and etching another place in Australian cycling history.

Pogačar was on a hot pace from the start of the Stage 20 time trial, posting good times on the flatter sections of the course, before surging away on the Planche des Belles Filles to completely dominate both the stage and the general standings. 

His performance saw him post a time of 55 minutes and 55 seconds, winning the stage by a minute and 21 seconds and moving to the top of the general classification with a 59-second lead over his fellow Slovenian, with Australian Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) completing the top three overall after a strong time trial saw him leapfrog Miguel Ángel López into third.

A shell-shocked Pogačar was clearly emptied by the ride, and almost seemed not to have registered the momentous nature of his performance in his interview after the stage.

"I think I’m dreaming," said Pogačar. "I don’t know what to say. Unbelievable."

Tadej Pogačar interview after Stage 20

At that point, Roglič came over to hug his younger countryman and offer his congratulations, before returning to his teammates.

"To get the jersey on the final day, that was just a dream," said Pogačar. "We were dreaming that from the start and we achieved that. It’s just amazing."

The time trial is often called the 'race of truth' the most honest test of a rider's condition, by themselves against the road and the elements. However, Pogačar rejected the assertion that it was just him alone out there.

"No, it was not just me, it was all the team," said Pogačar. "We all did the recon together. I knew every corner, every pothole on the road, I knew where to accelerate. Congrats to all my team. Today I just pushed to the end and I made it."

The emotions at the finish of Stage 20

Pogačar was consistently ahead of his rival for yellow throughout the stage, but pushed all the way to the line, expending all his energy, oblivious to the fact he was well ahead in the battle for the stage and for yellow.

"No, I was listening to the radio on the flat part but then on the climb I didn’t hear anything from the radio because the fans were too loud," said Pogačar. "I didn’t hear anything, no time gaps, nothing. I just went deep. I knew the climb very well so I just went full gas from the bottom to the top."

Pogačar's tendency to undersell himself has been consistent throughout his time in the WorldTour, and that continued when asked whether this had been his dream since a youngster.

"Actually my dream was just to be on the Tour de France," said Pogačar. "And now the dream is, now I’m here and it’s just the last stage… it’s unbelievable."

Jumbo-Visma had held the stage at points throughout the race, as first Wout van Aert bested Remi Cavagna's (Deceuninck-QuickStep) early time of 57 minutes and 54 seconds by posting his own of 57 minutes and 26 seconds. Then, Tom Dumoulin took over the hot seat bettering his team mate's mark by 10 seconds. 

Both could only watch in disbelief as Pogačar broke new ground, dominating their posted times, as their team leader Roglič slipped out of the yellow jersey on the virtual standings at the same time.

Richie Porte came in a scorching time of his own, just half a second behind the time of Dumoulin. Importantly, Porte took over the final spot on the podium, beating out López in their duel for third, as the Colombian had a poor time trial, dropping over five minutes to the Australian. 

Don't miss out on the Porte podium party and Caleb Ewan contesting the sprint victory on the Champs-Élysées, the final stage of the 2020 Tour de France. Watch on SBS HD and SBS On Demand from 11:30pm AEST and the SBS ŠKODA Tour Tracker from 11:35pm AEST.