Within an unbelievable orgasm to the Tour de France, Tadej Pogačar defeated fellow Slovenian Primož Roglič in the final point on Saturday before the finish in Paris, all but guaranteeing that he will win the title in cycling’s biggest race.
Set to be the youngest winner since 1904, Pogačar – in a day shy of 22 – flew to the penultimate point, an uphill time trial, devouring the 57-second lead that’d made Roglič look impregnable before the showdown.
Ultimately, it was not even close. Pogačar was magnificent, not only ripping off the legendary race leader’s yellow jersey from Roglič but winning the time trial, also.
That is Pogačar’s initial Tour.
“Unbelievable, incredible,” Pogačar said. “My mind will burst.”
Not since British cyclists Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome finished 1-2 in the 2012 Tour has just one state accepted the top two areas.
But nearly everybody – even Pogačar – was expecting that Roglič could be turning into Paris with all the yellow jersey on his shoulders, on his way into getting Slovenia’s initial winner.
Roglič had shot the race guide on Phase 9 and hauled it to Saturday, the worst day to shed it. He trails Pogačar by 59 minutes.
“I can’t think how hard it has to be to him,” Pogačar said. “He has to be devastated. But that is bike racing”
Only a major accident on Sunday – highly improbable – on what’s traditionally a leisurely and Profession ride to Paris before the final rush to the line will probably stop Pogačar from shooting over from 2019 winner Egan Bernal, that had been 22 the youngest champion since World War Two.
“I can not wait to cross the line in Paris,” Pogačar mentioned.
Australian Richie Porte will finish the podium, having ridden his way from fourth to third overall at the time trial into the Planches des Belles Filles ski station in southern France. Porte is a veteran of 10 Tours, but he had just once finished in the top 10 – the fifth spot in 2016 – before today in a livelihood occasionally dogged by ill-fortune.
The 30-year-old Roglič slumped on the tarmac in the conclusion as the enormity of the meltdown sank in.