The torrential rain and the intense cold did not prevent a historic performance of the Slovenian Tadej Pogacar, defender of the title, in the first alpine stage, where he donned the yellow jersey after giving all his rivals in the general a serious punishment.
The stage was awarded alone to Belgian Dylan Teuns (Bahrain), the last survivor of the day’s break, who crossed the finish line of the eighth stage between Oyonnax and Le Grand-Bornand, 150 kilometers ahead of the Spanish Ion Izagirre, by Canadian Michael Woods and Pogacar.
Pogacar attacked 32 kilometers from the finish line, climbing Col de La Romme, ended the resistance of Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz, he was hunting all the escapees of the day and “smoked” La Colombiere increasing the differences at forced marches. He didn’t leave one alive. He only gave in on the last descent, out of prudence.
Pogacar’s blow had devastating effects and cleared up doubts, if any. He endorsed 3:20 minutes to Carapaz, Enric Mas and Urán, 5:09 to Wout van Aert and 21:47 to former leader Mathieu Van der Poel. The Slovenian donned the yellow jersey at Le Grand-Bornand.
«I don’t know if I have crushed, I have given everything, it has been a good day. Yesterday they wanted to get rid of me and today I have replicated and demonstrated that I have a strong team. I attacked without planning it because Ineos was not going well, “he explained.
A lesson with forceful reflection in the general. Van Aert follows him at 1:48 and Kazakh Lutsenko at 4:38. Rigoberto Urán is fourth at 4:46 and Enric Mas eighth at 5:15.
The short but explosive stage, revolutionized from the steep start. The destruction began as soon as the starting flag was lowered. Dutchman Wout Poels started hostilities with a solo attack. That first lash aroused the spirits of the staff and the miseries of Geraint Thomas and Primoz Roglic, who were off the hook at the first turn.
With two favorites crossed off the list of predictions, they took advantage of 18 men for takeoff. Nairo Quintana, Ion Izagirre and Simon Yates entered the Comanche zone with a 5-minute lead.
The rhythm of attrition by McNulty and Formolo, Pogacar’s gregarious on the mountain, brought a few to the knees. The punishment of favorites was extended by climbing the Col de Romme, in which the “pájara” came to the yellow jersey Van der Poel and Van Aert.
Then came Pogacar’s first-person shot attacking in the rain. Hit the Tour. Pogacar went into a time trial mode and uncooperatively swept all the escapees from the breakout except the brave Teuns. Today the queen stage of the Alps is held, between Cluses and Tignes, 144.9 kilometers long and the fight seems only for second place in the Tour.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.