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Tour de France: Tadej Pogacar poised to win after stunning time-trial ride

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Tadej Pogacar is set to win the Tour de France ahead of strong favourite Primoz Roglic in one of the most dramatic turnarounds in the race’s history.

Pogacar, 21, will be confirmed as the youngest winner for 110 years at the end of Sunday’s largely processional stage to Paris.

The UAE-Team Emirates rider overhauled a 57-second deficit to Roglic, who was thought to be a far stronger rider on Stage 20’s time trial to La Planche des Belles Filles.

It will be a first Grand Tour victory for Slovenian Pogacar, who took the yellow jersey from compatriot Roglic after he had held it for 13 days.

Pogacar is now 59 seconds ahead of Roglic at the end a day of drama reminiscent of the 1989 Tour, when Greg LeMond unexpectedly overhauled Laurent Fignon in a final-day time trial to win by eight seconds.

Richie Porte of Trek-Segafredo will be on the podium in Paris, taking third, three minutes and 30 seconds down.

Pogacar won the stage, 1min 21secs ahead of Roglic’s Jumbo-Visma team-mate Tom Dumoulin. Porte climbed to third overall after finishing in third place on the stage.

Britain’s Adam Yates of Michelton-Scott will finish ninth in the general classification, 9mins 25secs behind the winner.

What happened to Roglic?

Roglic has looked imperious throughout the three-week race thanks to support from his powerful team, supported by some of the sport’s best riders, including Dumoulin, Wout van Aert and Sepp Kuss.

The 36km stage from Lure to La Planche des Belles Filles was a challenging course that finished, unusually for time trial, with a category 1 climb. Roglic, 30, was considered a far better time trailist than Pogacar, and began the stage strongly.

But Roglic hit trouble at the changeover from super-fast specialist time-trial bikes to more a conventional road machine before the climb, struggling to clip into his pedals, wobbling when being pushed away and never seeming to find his typical rhythm.

More to follow.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/54186014

Tour de France: Soren Kragh Andersen wins stage 19 as Primoz Roglic retains lead

Sunweb's Soren Kragh Andersen raises his arms in celebration after winning stage 19 of the 2020 Tour de France
Sunweb have won three stages in the 2020 Tour de France

Soren Kragh Andersen claimed his second win of the Tour de France with another shrewd late solo attack on stage 19.

Team Sunweb’s Andersen, 26, attacked from a break 16km out and powered to the line in Champagnole, 53 seconds ahead of Luka Mezgec in second.

Ireland’s Sam Bennett won his duel with Peter Sagan and looks set to take the green jersey, leading by 55 points with two stages remaining.

Primoz Roglic comfortably retained his 57-second lead in the yellow jersey.

The Slovenian will win his first Tour title should he remain in the lead following Saturday’s mountain time trial, with tradition dictating the yellow jersey is not attacked on the final, processional stage into Paris on Sunday.

Having won stage 14 with a similar solo move, Kragh Andersen is the fourth rider in this year’s Tour to win two stages after Wout van Aert, Caleb Ewan and Tadej Pogacar, who remains second overall.

The Dane never looked back after kicking away from an elite 12-man group that included Bennett and Sagan, only letting up inside the final kilometre after screaming at a TV motorbike for a time check to ensure his lead was insurmountable.

“I have to say that, in the last kilometres, I was screaming in pure disbelief,” he said.

“I’ve got two stage wins on the same Tour de France – it’s incredible. I’m speechless.

“I was in the mix with some of the best riders of the world for this type of race and I honestly didn’t know how to beat them as I was on my limit too.

“But then I realised that, if I managed somehow to get a small gap, it may enable me to pull it off and that’s exactly what happened. This is a memory I will carry in my mind for the rest of my life.”

It was another impressive tactical display by Sunweb, who have now won three stages in this Tour.

After the breakaway was caught at 35km to go, the German team initially tried to keep the race together for their sprinter Cees Bol by using Kragh Andersen and Nikias Arndt to mark any attacks.

But once it became clear the peloton would not catch the lead group, they adjusted superbly, with Kragh Andersen catching out and riding away from fine one-day riders such as Greg van Avermaet, Oliver Naesen and Sagan.

The group could not get organised behind and when Britain’s Luke Rowe launched a late counter-attack, it was already in vain, with the Ineos Grenadiers rider eventually coming home seventh.

Bennett appeared content to mark record, seven-time green jersey winner Sagan instead of chasing his second stage win of the race.

The Deceuninck-Quick-Step rider beat the Slovak at both the intermediate sprint and at the finish to add three points to his lead in the points classification.

There are a maximum of 90 points on offer remaining in the race, although it is highly unlikely Sagan or Bennett will take any points in Saturday’s time trial by finishing in the top 15 on the stage.

That leaves 70 points on the final stage and even if Sagan were to win maximum points, Bennett just needs to collect 16 – the equivalent of finishing fifth on the stage – to ensure he becomes only the second Irishman after Sean Kelly to win the green jersey.

Stage 19 result

1. Soren Kragh Andersen (Den/Team Sunweb) 5hrs 36mins 33secs

2. Luka Mezgec (Slo/Mitchelton-Scott) +53secs

3. Jasper Stuyven (Bel/Trek-Segafredo) Same time

4. Greg van Avermaet (Bel/CCC Team)

5. Oliver Naesen (Bel/AG2R La Mondiale)

6. Nikias Arndt (Ger/Team Sunweb)

7. Luke Rowe (GB/Ineos Grenadiers) +59secs

8. Sam Bennett (Ire/Deceuninck-Quick-Step) +1min 02secs

9. Peter Sagan (Svk/Bora-Hansgrohe) Same time

10. Matteo Trentin (Ita/CCC Team)

General classification after stage 19

1. Primoz Roglic (Slo/Jumbo-Visma) 83hrs 29mins 41secs

2. Tadej Pogacar (Slo/UAE Team Emirates) +57secs

3. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col/Astana) +1mins 27secs

4. Richie Porte (Aus/Trek-Segafredo) +3mins 06secs

5. Mikel Landa (Spa/Bahrain McLaren) +3mins 28secs

6. Enric Mas (Spa/Movistar) +4mins 19secs

7. Adam Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) +5mins 55secs

8. Rigoberto Uran (Col/EF Pro Cycling) +6mins 05secs

9. Tom Dumoulin (Ned/Jumbo-Visma) +7mins 24secs

10. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) +12mins 12secs

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/54209218

Tour de France: Primoz Roglic keeps lead as Michal Kwiatkowski wins stage 18

Michal Kwiatkowski (right) and Richard Carapaz (left) embrace as Ineos take a one-two on stage 18 of the 2020 Tour de France
Michal Kwiatkowski (right) had never won an individual Grand Tour stage before

Michal Kwiatkowski led a superb Ineos Grenadiers one-two on stage 18 to help salvage their Tour de France as Primoz Roglic took a step closer to the title.

Poland’s Kwiatkowski and team-mate Richard Carapaz crossed the line arm-in-arm after riding away from the rest of the field on a tough mountain stage.

Roglic and his Jumbo-Visma team held off any attacks as he maintained his 57-second lead with three stages to go.

Britain’s Adam Yates slipped from fifth to seventh overall.

Former world champion Kwiatkowki’s first ever individual Grand Tour stage victory capped a strong showing by Ineos since defending champion Egan Bernal dropped out of contention, before abandoning after stage 16.

The British team have been active in the breakaways, with Carapaz coming close on both stage 16 and 17, before Kwiatkowski secured their first win of the 2020 Tour.

“That was some day – I can’t describe how grateful I am to the whole team and Richard. I will never forget that,” said Kwiatkowski.

“I’ve had some nice moments in cycling but that was something new. I had goosebumps for the final kilometres because I knew we were going to make it. It was incredible.”

Ineos salvage their Tour

Despite a very successful career that includes victories in Milan-San Remo, the Amstel Gold Race and Strade Bianche twice, a Grand Tour stage win had eluded Kwiatkowski, with the 30-year-old having been a crucial support rider to Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Bernal since joining Team Sky in 2016.

He and Carapaz had a lead of four minutes heading into the final 10km, leaving them plenty of time to celebrate and decide who would take the win in La Roche-sur-Foron, with Carapaz just squeezing his brake at the last moment to ensure Kwiatkowski got it.

Carapaz had gone clear with Marc Hirschi over the first climb of the day as they battled for mountains classification points before Kwiatkowski, Pello Bilbao and Nicolas Edet joined them on the second climb.

Edet slipped back and Hirschi crashed, before remounting, descending the Col des Saisies, before the Ineos duo dropped Bilbao.

Last year’s Giro d’Italia champion Carapaz also took the polka dot jersey as leader of the mountains classification from Tadej Pogacar, who remains second overall on general classification.

The Ecuadorian leads Pogacar by eight points in that competition, with 12 points maximum left on offer.

Roglic nearly there

As the final mountain stage, this was the last realistic opportunity for any of Roglic’s rivals to take back considerable time on the Slovenian, but he came through unscathed.

Friday’s stage 19 should see the GC contenders finish together and Sunday’s final stage is a procession into Paris where tradition dictates the race leader is not attacked.

Saturday’s individual mountain time trial culminates in a climb up La Planche des Belles Filles but, as an impressive time trialist and climber, Roglic will be confident he already has enough of a lead.

Again Roglic was well supported, with Pogacar unable to launch an attack on the final climb up the punishing Plateau des Glieres before the compatriots sprinted to fourth and fifth respectively after Roglic’s team-mate Wout van Aert had neutralised the four bonus seconds for third.

Mikel Landa briefly went clear as his Bahrain McLaren team again set a high pace but with more success than on stage 17 as they dropped Rigoberto Uran and Yates, who finished over two minutes down, allowing Landa to move up to fifth overall.

Richie Porte suffered a puncture on a gravel section after the top of the Glieres but managed to chase back on to keep hold of fourth overall.

Stage 18 result

1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol/Ineos Grenadiers) 4hrs 47mins 33secs

2. Richard Carapaz (Ecu/Ineos Grenadiers) Same time

3. Wout van Aert (Bel/Jumbo-Visma) +1min 51secs

4. Primoz Roglic (Slo/Jumbo-Visma) +1min 53secs

5. Tadej Pogacar (Slo/UAE Team Emirates) Same time

6. Richie Porte (Aus/Trek-Segafredo) +1min 54secs

7. Enric Mas (Spa/Movistar) Same time

8. Mikel Landa (Spa/Bahrain McLaren)

9. Damiano Caruso (Ita/Bahrain McLaren)

10. Tom Dumoulin (Ned/Jumbo-Visma)

General classification after stage 18

1. Primoz Roglic (Slo/Jumbo-Visma) 79hrs 45mins 30secs

2. Tadej Pogacar (Slo/UAE Team Emirates) +57secs

3. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col/Astana) +1mins 27secs

4. Richie Porte (Aus/Trek-Segafredo) +3mins 06secs

5. Mikel Landa (Spa/Bahrain McLaren) +3mins 28secs

6. Enric Mas (Spa/Movistar) +4mins 19secs

7. Adam Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) +5mins 55secs

8. Rigoberto Uran (Col/EF Pro Cycling) +6mins 05secs

9. Tom Dumoulin (Ned/Jumbo-Visma) +7mins 24secs

10. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) +12mins 12secs

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/54196340

Tour de France stage 17: Miguel Angel Lopez wins, Primoz Roglic stretches lead

Miguel Angel Lopez
Miguel Angel Lopez first Tour de France stage win lifts him into a podium position

Miguel Angel Lopez won stage 17 of the Tour de France as Primoz Roglic extended his lead in the race.

Astana’s Lopez pulled clear of the other general classification contenders on the final climb of the day, beating Roglic into second by 15 seconds.

The stage victory took Lopez into third overall, while Roglic moved almost a minute clear as his fellow Slovenian Tadej Pogacar came home third.

Rigoberto Uran, who went into the stage in third, was almost two minutes back.

Wednesday’s stage had begun without defending champion Egan Bernal, with the Ineos Grenadiers rider announcing his withdrawal after struggling through stages 15 and 16.

However, his compatriot Lopez produced a superb ride to accelerate away from Sepp Kuss on the Col de la Loze, which is the third-highest finish location of a Tour de France stage.

The Colombian, who is riding in his first Tour de France, is now one minute and 26 seconds down on Roglic in the race for the yellow jersey.

“I’m very emotional because of the work done at home with my family, my wife, my son. I dedicate this victory to them,” Lopez said.

“We were confident. I was on my terrain. At 2,000 metres of altitude, I feel like at home.”

Richard Carapaz had looked as though he may cling on for Ineos’ first stage win at the Tour after being part of a five-man break that went clear as the peloton splintered on the Col de la Madeleine.

But the Giro d’Italia champion was reeled in with under 3km left on the final climb after going solo with 9km remaining.

Roglic and Pogacar’s battle for yellow

While Lopez was riding to his first Tour stage win, all eyes were on the race behind as Roglic and Pogacar went toe-to-toe on sections of the climb that reared up to a gradient of 24%.

And while Pogcar ended the day leading the King of the Mountains competition, he could not match his fellow Slovenian when it mattered.

Roglic eased his way back to the wheel of Jumbo-Visma team-mate Kuss before distancing the UAE Team Emirates rider in the final 2km.

“I don’t think the job is done,” said Roglic. “There are still some hard stages to come and Tadej Pogacar is a great climber. I felt really good on the climb, but you can’t compare these last four to five kilometres to anything else.

“I’m glad this stage is behind us. I was happy with the position I was in before the stage, and now I’m even happier.”

Britain’s Adam Yates was dropped about 4km from the summit but remains in fifth place overall behind Australia’s Richie Porte in fourth.

“Tough day, but I hung in there as long as I could so we can be happy with that,” said the Mitchelton-Scott rider.

“We’ve got a big stage tomorrow, a lot of altitude metres, and then all we’ve got after that is the time trial, one day all by myself, so we’ll keep going. Hopefully tomorrow I’ve got good legs and we’ll keep trying.”

Stage 18 on Thursday sees the riders tackle another 4,000m of climbing on the 168km mountain stage from Meribel to La Roche-sur-Foron.

Stage 17 results

1. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col/Astana) 4hrs 49mins 08secs

2. Primoz Roglic (Slo/Jumbo-Visma) +15secs

3. Tadej Pogacar (Slo/UAE Team Emirates) +30secs

4. Sepp Kuss (US/Jumbo-Visma) +56secs

5. Richie Porte (Aus/Trek-Segafredo) +1mins 01secs

6. Enric Mas (Spa/Movistar) +1mins 12secs

7. Mikel Landa (Spa/Bahrain McLaren) +1mins 20secs

8. Adam Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) Same time

9. Rigoberto Uran (Col/EF Pro Cycling) 1mins 59 secs

10. Tom Dumoulin (Ned/Jumbo-Visma) +2mins 13secs

General classification after stage 17

1. Primoz Roglic (Slo/Jumbo-Visma) 74hrs 56mins 04secs

2. Tadej Pogacar (Slo/UAE Team Emirates) +57secs

3. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col/Astana) +1mins 26secs

4. Richie Porte (Aus/Trek-Segafredo) +3mins 05secs

5. Adam Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) +3mins 14secs

6. Rigoberto Uran (Col/EF Pro Cycling) +3mins 24secs

7. Mikel Landa (Spa/Bahrain McLaren) +3mins 27secs

8. Enric Mas (Spa/Movistar) +4mins 18secs

9. Tom Dumoulin (Ned/Jumbo-Visma) +7mins 23secs

10. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) +9mins 31secs

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/54182385

Tour de France: Lennard Kamna wins stage 16 as Primoz Roglic retains overall lead

Lennard Kamna
Lennard Kamna finished one minute 27 seconds clear of his closest challenger

German Lennard Kamna produced a superb solo break to power to victory on stage 16 of the Tour de France as Primoz Roglic maintained the overall lead.

The Bora-Hansgrohe rider, 24, pulled away on the penultimate climb of the 164km stage from La Tour-du-Pin to Villard-de-Lans to claim his first career Grand Tour win.

Roglic finished 17 minutes later in a group of the main contenders.

He leads fellow Slovenian Tadej Pogacar by 40 seconds.

Kamna, whose victory also marked his team’s first success at the Tour, finished one minute and 27 seconds ahead of Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz in second, while Swiss Sebastien Reichenbach took third place.

“I’m feeling great,” said Kamna. “It’s an absolutely awesome day for me now.

“It was a fight from the beginning on and I knew I had to make it to the finish alone. When I saw Carapaz upping the speed I thought, ‘now is the moment to go’ – and I just went all in to the end.

“It’s a big, big, big relief for the team and for me. I can almost not imagine it. The step I made this year is huge and I’m so pleased to win.”

Stage 16 result

1. Lennard Kamna (Ger/Bora-Hansgrohe) 4hrs 12mins 52secs

2. Richard Carapaz (Ecu/Ineos Grenadiers) +1mins 27secs

3. Sebastien Reichenbach (Swi/Groupama-FDJ) +1mins 56secs

4. Pavel Sivakov (Rus/Ineos Grenadiers) +2mins 34secs

5. Simon Geschke (Ger/CCC) +2mins 35secs

6. Warren Barguil (Fra/Arkea Samsic) +2mins 37secs

7. Tiesj Benoot (Bel/Sunweb) +2mins 41secs

8. Nicolas Roche (Ire/Sun) +2mins 47secs

9. Qunetin Pacher (Fra/BB Hotels-Vital Concept) +2mins 51 secs

10. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra/Deceuninck-Quick-Step +2mins 54 secs

General classification after stage 16

1. Primoz Roglic (Slo/Jumbo-Visma) 70hrs 6mins 47secs

2. Tadej Pogacar (Slo/UAE Team Emirates) +40secs

3. Rigoberto Uran (Col/EF Pro Cycling) +1mins 34secs

4. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col/Astana) +1mins 45secs

5. Adam Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) +2mins 03secs

6. Richie Porte (Aus/Trek-Segafredo) +2mins 13secs

7. Mikel Landa (Spa/Bahrain McLaren) +2mins 16secs

8. Enric Mas (Spa/Movistar) +3mins 15secs

9. Tom Dumoulin (Ned/Jumbo-Visma) +5mins 19secs

10. Nairo Quintana (Col/Arkea-Samsic) +5mins 43secs

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/54156475

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