Pogacar triumphs on first Tour de France mountain

Pogacar overtook his key rival Jonas Vingegaard in a last-gasp burst.

Tadej Pogacar.
Tadej Pogacar.
Image: Alamy Stock Photo

ALREADY WEARING THE overall leader’s yellow jersey defending, champion Tadej Pogacar overtook the last of a breakaway and his key rival Jonas Vingegaard in a last gasp burst atop a steep mountain ascent on Friday.

Pogacar punished all his key rivals except Vingegaard, with Geraint Thomas losing 14sec and Adam Yates 29, as some riders dismounted and pushed up the punishing finale.

Having taken the lead Thursday Pogacar had warned his adversaries of his intention to win this stage, and the 23-year-old led the peloton in the hunt to reel in the escapees.

The 7km-long, 9-percent gradient up La Super Planche des Belles Filles in the Vosges was the first mountain on the Tour and provided a pulsating finish.

Vingegaard attacked first overtaking Lennard Kamna within 50m of the line as Pogacar followed, timing his final kick to perfection.

The finish line was also the scene of Pogacar’s first Tour de France triumph where he beat Primoz Roglic on the final-day time trial of the 2020 Tour.

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Pogacar’s family and girlfriend were waiting at the finish line as stewards attended to the exhausted Vingegaard, guiding his bike out of the way of the following riders.

– © AFP 2022

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