Pogačar steals Tour de France from Roglič with thrilling penultimate stage time trial win

The 2020 Tour de France will forever be known as the Battle of the Slovenians, one that 21-year-old Tadej Pogačar made up and exceeded a 57-second deficit while winning the penultimate day time trial to beat Primož Roglič, yellow jersey holder for 11 days, to the title. The upset was reminiscent of Greg LeMond nicking the 1989 Tour from Laurent Fignon on a last day time trial. Richie Porte, third on the day, will finish the best Grand Tour of his career on the podium after thrashing Angel Lopez.

History

Pogačar will wear three jerseys at the end of Sunday’s stage in Paris: yellow, polka dot and white. He will be the second youngest Tour winner after Henri Cornet, 111-years ago.

The Course

The final GC showdown of the 107th Tour de France began with 14 km of flat, then 10 km at 2.6 percent, before a short descent that led to Planche des Belles Filles, 5.2 km of 8.2 percent. Riders had the option of changing their bikes in a designated area at the bottom of the climb.

The GC Situation

Roglič had 57-seconds to defend. Pogačar, in turn, had 30-seconds over Angel Lopez, who held a minute and a half over Richie Porte.

1) Primož Roglič (Slovenia/Jumbo-Visma) 79:45:30
2) Tadej Pogačar (Slovenia/UAE-Emirates) +0:57
3) Angel Lopez (Colombia/Astana) +1:27
4) Richie Porte (Australia/Trek-Segafredo) +3:06
5) Mikel Landa (Spain/Bahrain-McLaren) +3:28
6) Enric Mas (Spain/Movistar) +4:19
7) Adam Yates (Great Britain/Mitchelton-Scott) +5:55
8) Rigoberto Uran (Colombia/EF Pro Cycling) +6:05
9) Tom Dumoulin (The Netherlands/Jumbo-Visma) +7:24
10 Alejandro Valverde (Spain/Movistar) +12:12

An early leader was Remi Cavagna, Deceuninck-Quick Step’s French chrono champion, who was in a solo breakaway on Friday. Cavagna finished the 36.2 km in 57:54.

After 72 riders had finished only Cavagna and David De la Cruz completed the course under an hour, De la Cruz ascending the Planche des Belles Filles climb in 17:40.

Thibaut Pinot, who has endured another disappointing Grand Tour, was cheered heartily as he rode past his home town and he took the provisional sixth time.

In the top-20, double stage winner Wout Van Aert posted a good first intermediate time taken at the 14.4 km mark. With Roglič’s departure from the start house, the game was on.

Van Aert and Roglič’s teammate Tom Dumoulin was booming on the flat part of the course–he was looking to take Rigo Uran’s eighth place. Belgian chrono champion Van Aert beat Cavagna’s best time at the third check. Lopez had lost half his gap over Porte by the first intermediate time split.

Pogačar was third fastest at the 14.4-km mark, 13 seconds faster than his yellow clad compatriot. Landa was losing his fifth place to Mas, but, in fact, both moved up a place at the expense of poor Lopez.

Cavagna was finally usurped by Van Aert, who clocked 57:26.85.

Van Aert even threw his bike at the line.

Pogačar caught and dispatched Lopez.

Dumoulin stayed on his time trial bike and closed in on Van Aert’s hotseat. Pogačar took 30-seconds from the yellow jersey, but Roglič kept the loss steady before the climb.

Dumoulin beat his teammate by 10.55 seconds. Behind, Pog was chipping away at Rog’s lead.

What the edge of your seat was made for.

Finally, the younger Slovenian took over from the older. Porte blasted past Lopez, who was in free fall down the GC. Pogacar then beat Dumoulin’s time.

Seemingly in control for the entirely of the race, and suddenly 59-seconds behind, Roglič sat on the pavement a broken man, but he picked himself up and embraced his countryman.

Sunday is the procession into Paris and the final sprint on the Champs-Élysées to end this wild Tour de France.


2020 Tour de France Stage 20

1) Tadej Pogačar (Slovenia/UAE-Emirates) 55:55
2) Tom Dumoulin (The Netherlands/Jumbo-Visma) +1:21
3) Richie Porte (Australia/Trek-Segafredo) s.t.
122) Hugo Houle (Canada/Astana) +9:31

2020 Tour de France GC
1) Tadej Pogačar (Slovenia/UAE-Emirates) 84:26:33
2) Primož Roglič (Slovenia/Jumbo-Visma) +0:59
3) Richie Porte (Australia/Trek-Segafredo) +3:30
4) Mikel Landa (Spain/Bahrain-McLaren) +5:58
5) Enric Mas (Spain/Movistar) +6:07
6) Angel Lopez (Colombia/Astana) +6:47
7) Tom Dumoulin (The Netherlands/Jumbo-Visma) +7:48
8) Rigoberto Uran (Colombia/EF Pro Cycling) +6:05
9) Adam Yates (Great Britain/Mitchelton-Scott) +9:25
10) Damiano Caruso (Italy/Bahrain-Merida) +15:03
46) Hugo Houle (Canada/Astana) +2:33:39

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Credits : cyclingmagazine.ca

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