GC winners and losers as Pogačar takes telling step towards Tour title

Tadej Pogačar may have already sewn up the yellow jersey, but a podium berth in the general classification remains up for grabs at the Tour de France.

Having reigned supreme atop the Col du Portet in Stage 17, Pogačar powered past his rivals yet again to take another stage victory on Friday (AEST) and extend his lead to almost six minutes.

The defending champion responded to an attack by Enric Mas (Movistar) in the final 800 metres of the climb to Luz Ardiden, leaving Richard Carapaz (Ineos-Grenadiers) and Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) in his wake.

General classification teams were keen to ensure their best climbers would battle it out for the win, however, none could cut into the 5’45” lead held by Pogačar, who effectively rubberstamped his successful defence of the 2020 title.

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Spanning 129.7 kilometres, the journey through the Occitanie region saw a hard and fast start to affairs but ended up producing a change in the rankings as Australian Ben O’Connor moved up to fourth place.

The AG2R-Citroen rider finished eighth on the day but was able to leapfrog EF Education-Nippo's Rigoberto Uran, who lost more than eight minutes on a difficult day.



Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), 1st overall

“This is unbelievable,” Pogačar said. “You can lose six minutes on the TT, that’s happened before, but I feel confident.”

Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma), 2nd overall, 5’45” behind

“I started the Tour in service of Primoz (Roglic), but I had not dared to dream this,” Vingegaard said.

Richard Carapaz (Ineos-Grenadiers), 3rd overall, 5’51” behind

“We knew that our rivals were stronger, and we are pretty happy with the result we achieved,” Carapaz said.

“There was nothing to lose for us.”

Ben O’Connor (AG2R-Citroen), 4th overall, 8’18” behind

“I like this kind of racing,” O’Connor said. “You’ve seen me suffering and maybe not looking the most special-looking rider but I’m still sitting fourth and it feels special to me.”

Wilco Kelderman (Bora-Hansgrohe), 5th overall, 8’50” behind

“I think I have the possibility of edging up one spot but even if I don’t make it, fifth overall is also a good result,” Kelderman said.

The Tour de France continues tonight with Stage 19 and you can catch all the action on SBS and SBS On Demand from 8:30pm (AEST), with the SKODA Tour Tracker app commencing at 8:05pm (AEST).


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2 min read
Published 16 July 2021 at 1:48pm
By SBS Cycling Central
Source: SBS