Monday, January 24

Tadej Pogacar dominates the time trial to deal a big blow to the Tour de France | Tour de France

Tadej Pogacar struck the first real blow in the battle for final victory in the 2021 Tour de France, winning the 27.2km individual time trial from Changé to Laval and nearly lifting the race leader’s yellow jersey from Mathieu’s shoulders. van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix).

Although the Dutch driver held onto the race lead for eight seconds, the UAE-Team Emirates prodigy was almost as irresistible on the rolling roads of the Mayenne as he had been on his spectacular race-winning climb to La Planche des Belles Filles. last fall. .

Pogacar, best known for his climbing skills, said he did not expect to distance his rivals so markedly.

“I was in the wind tunnel [last spring] and I learned a lot. But [before] I definitely made some mistakes, ”he said. “Now I have found a balance. We did a good job with my positioning, so I’m quite happy with the development. “

As the defending champion took the honors of the day, the battle for overall ranking supremacy came into focus as the peloton prepared for the long haul east to this weekend’s first Alpine stage from Oyonnax to Le Grand- Bornand.

Clinging to the Slovenian’s wake are most of his rivals. Richard Carapaz of Ineos Grenadiers is now behind Pogacar by 1:36, 2020 runner-up Primoz Roglic is 1:40 behind his compatriot, and 2018 winner Geraint Thomas has been pulled away by 1:46. The four-pronged leadership strategy of Thomas’ team appears to have already been dismantled.

“Obviously, Pogacar is in the strongest position,” Thomas said. “But as we’ve seen in the first three or four days so far, a lot can happen and change.”

However, there is no doubt that the 21-year-old was the big winner and, with another time trial on the eve of the final stage in Paris, the omens are not good for those looking to dethrone him. Thomas, who struggled to overcome right shoulder pain that was dislocated on stage three at Pontivy, vowed to keep fighting.

Geraint Thomas on a bike during the fifth time trial stage.
Geraint Thomas of Ineos Grenadiers is 1:54 behind Tour leader Matthieu van der Poel. Photograph: Daniel Cole / AP

“I think I ran the best I could,” said the Welshman. “My shoulder didn’t feel 100%, but I don’t want to hit myself with it. I tried to do what I could and it was not enough. I think it was a pretty decent pace, but not enough power.

“I woke up this morning and felt terrible, to be honest, but once I got going, it loosened up a bit and got better. But it is one of those things. You just have to go ahead and deal with it and keep fighting. “

The first time trial of the Tour proved to be a tough test for Chris Froome, hampered by injuries sustained in the crash on the first stage. The four-time Tour winner finished 121st on stage and 165th in the standings.

“Every day is better,” he said. “Today was quite nice, just to be [racing] on my own, especially after some stressful times. It wasn’t a total effort, probably around 85%, but it was nice to open a little, push a little. But, day by day, things get better ”.

Sign up for The Recap, our weekly email of editor picks.

Froome, like many in the peloton, continues to care for the aftermath of his high-speed crash on the road to Landernau. “I have a lot of dark bruises on my upper leg and chest, but I don’t think I’m the only one in the pack with aches and pains. A lot of guys have been down these last few days and looking around me I don’t remember seeing so many injured riders. It’s pretty scary. “

Meanwhile, the spectator who caused a crash during the first stage of the race has been arrested after showing up at a police station. The spectator, a 30-year-old French woman, is being detained at a police station in Landerneau, Brittany. The viewer is accused of unintentionally causing injury and endangering the lives of other people.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *