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Bennett and Pogacar poised to step onto podium in Paris tomorrow

Sam Bennett almost certain to win green jersey while Pogacar’s successful time trail today means he is now likely to secure Tour de France crown.

Sam Bennett in action during today's time trial.
Sam Bennett in action during today's time trial.
Image: AP/PA Images

TADEJ POGACAR ALL but clinched the Tour de France on Saturday after his Slovenian compatriot Primoz Roglic let a 57 seconds lead slip in a tricky individual time-trial, the last day of real racing. 

The 21-year-old Pogacar will lead the peloton into Paris on Sunday wearing the overall leader’s yellow jersey and, barring disaster, will climb onto the top step of the podium. 

There he will be joined by Ireland’s Sam Bennett who has an unassailable lead in the green jersey contest – and is set to become the first Irish cyclist to win the prestigious prize since Sean Kelly, Bennett’s fellow Carrick-on-Suir cyclist and mentor, collected it 31 years ago.

With just one day remaining, Bennett has 319 points, Peter Segan, his nearest pursuer, has just 264. In other words, barring a disaster, Bennett has it in the bag.

Today he finished 131st in the stage 20 time trial. But while he had a quiet day, Pogacar didn’t. He pulverised the field with his stage-winning performance, and his team hugged and kissed him as they realised the 20202 Tour was theirs.

“My dream was just to take part,” said Pogacar on his first Tour de France.

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“I could hear nothing on the final climb and I went for it with everything,” he said.

Roglic had led the Tour since stage nine and his dramatic meltdown on the final climb means Pogacar become the youngest postwar champion.

The UAE rider Pogacar changed bikes, which took 12 seconds, after the 30km rolling section to tackle the 6km eight percent climb at top speed.

The 30-year-old Roglic, known to panic, only decided to change bikes once he began to crumble fast, but it became painfully clear he was in for a horrible finale.

In the general classification, Ireland’s Dan Martin is in 40th position after finishing 31st today – five minutes and 31 seconds behind Pogacar, while Nicolas Roche is 97th after crossing the line in 62nd position today. Bennett is 138th in general classification but first in the race for green, the only race that matters to him. 

About the author:

Garry Doyle

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