Froome believes Tour postponement will benefit yellow jersey hopes

By Sports Desk August 03, 2020

Chris Froome believes the delay to the Tour de France will benefit his hopes of regaining the yellow jersey, claiming he is on the right trajectory for the race.

The Tour was postponed from June 27 to August 29 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

It meant Froome, who missed all three Grand Tour events last year after suffering severe injuries in a high-speed crash, had more time to recover after returning to action in February.

Asked if the delay had helped him prepare for his push for a fifth Tour victory, Froome told Cyclingnews: "Very much so in fact.

"The delay to the major races has helped me take the next step in terms of being back to my normal self again.

"I think that given where we are right now, with just about a month to the Tour, I'm on the right trajectory for that race. I'm happy with where I'm at."

Froome will end his 10-year spell with Team INEOS at the culmination of the 2020 campaign to join Israel Start-Up Nation.

However, Froome is not thinking about his future beyond this season.

"There are going to be a lot of changes, but that's still a few months away, so I'm not really thinking about that now," said Froome. 

"I'm just focused on getting the best out of myself for the rest of the season."

 

 

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  • Pogacar the youngest winner in 116 years – The Tour de France in Opta numbers Pogacar the youngest winner in 116 years – The Tour de France in Opta numbers

    Tadej Pogacar became Slovenia's first-ever winner of the Tour de France on Sunday, but that was just the tip of the iceberg with respect to the young rider's achievements in the 107th edition of the race.

    Pogacar thrillingly overhauled fellow Slovenian Primoz Roglic in Saturday's individual time trial to head into the final, largely ceremonial stage in the French capital on Sunday wearing the famous yellow.

    He also claimed the King of the Mountains polka dot jersey and white jersey for the best rider aged 25 or under, as the UAE Team Emirates rider produced a memorable performance across the three-week race, which began in Nice on August 29.

    But, while Pogacar was ultimately the star of the show, Roglic once again showed his quality, Sam Bennett did Republic of Ireland proud to fittingly claim the green jersey, while Australia's Richie Porte became only the second Aussie to finish on the podium at a Grand Tour.

    As the dust settles on a gruelling and engrossing Tour de France, we look at the Opta numbers behind the 2020 edition…

    Prodigious – Pogacar is the youngest winner of the Tour de France (21 years and 365 days) since Henri Cornet in 1904 (19 years and 352 days), 116 years ago.

    Debut – Pogacar became the first rider to win the Tour de France in his maiden appearance since Laurent Fignon in 1983.

    King – The Slovenian is also only the second rider to win the General Classification and two more standings (King of the Mountains and best young rider) in a single Tour de France. Eddy Merckx accomplished the feat in 1969, 1970 and 1972.

    Pipped – Pogacar's victory was made all the more dramatic by Saturday's events, and as such, he is the first rider to win the Tour de France in the last two stages since Cadel Evans, who took the yellow jersey from Andy Schleck on the penultimate stage in 2011.

    National service – Roglic and Pogacar are the first two riders of the same nationality to finish first and second in the Tour de France since Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome in 2012.

    Four-ce to be reckoned with – Roglic hasn’t ranked outside the top four in any of the 12 stage races he has completed since April 2018, winning eight of them.

    Emulating – Porte is the second Australian rider to reach the podium in a Grand Tour. Only Evans has done so before (three in the Tour de France, one in the Giro d'Italia and one in the Vuelta a Espana).

    Bern out – Egan Bernal is the first Tour de France winner (2019) to abandon the race in the following season since Chris Froome. After winning in 2013, he failed to finish in 2014.

    Rub of the green – Bennett is the second Irishman to win the points ranking in the Tour de France after Sean Kelly (1982, 1983, 1985 and 1989).

    A first to forget – This is the first time Peter Sagan has completed the Tour de France failing to win the Points Classification. He had won it in seven of the past eight editions and no other rider has claimed this title more times in the history of the race.

    Nairo struggles – Excluding abandonments, this is the worst Nairo Quintana result (17th) in one of the three Grand Tours since his first appearance in La Vuelta 2012 (36th).

  • Tour de France: Pogacar concludes yellow jersey glory as Bennett wins in Paris Tour de France: Pogacar concludes yellow jersey glory as Bennett wins in Paris

    Tadej Pogacar completed his stunning Tour de France triumph in Paris as Sam Bennett celebrated taking the green jersey with victory on the Champs-Elysees.

    Pogacar thrillingly overhauled fellow Slovenian Primoz Roglic in Saturday's individual time trial to head into the final, largely ceremonial stage in the French capital bedecked in the famous yellow.

    The 21-year-old UAE Team Emirates rider is the youngest winner of the Tour since 1904, while he also claimed the King of the Mountains polka dot jersey and the white jersey for the best rider aged 25 or under.

    As is customary in Paris, one final moment of glory for the sprinters who have managed to toil through the mountains remained up for grabs and Bennett concluded a triumphant race in style.

    The Irishman of Deceuninck-Quick-Step was already secure at the top of the points category after Peter Sagan did not contest the intermediate sprint.

    Sagan was among the big hitters in contention for cycling's most famous sprint finish, obviously shorn of its usual bustling crowds, but none of them could live with Bennett who powered clear.

    Pogacar concluded a life-altering three weeks shortly afterwards to rubber stamp his success on the day before his 22nd birthday.

    The defeated Roglic and Australia's Richie Porte completed the podium behind cycling's newest breakout superstar.

    POGACAR WOULD HAVE BEEN HAPPY WITH SECOND OR LAST

    Pogacar's triumph has proved as popular with the peloton as it was surprising, and the youngster lapped up an unforgettable moment of sporting triumph.

    "It's unbelievable, it's really crazy. Even if I had come second or last it would still be nice to be here," he said. "But this is the top of the top. I cannot describe this feeling with words. Today was very special, a special moment with my team-mates. Finally some chance to talk with them on the bike and not just going full gas every day.

    "A lot of respect to all the riders, I think every single one of them congratulated me. This sport is really amazing."

    BENNETT REVELS IN UNIMAGINABLE VICTORY

    The proud owner of the green jersey matched his counterpart in yellow in terms of joy and wonder.

    "I can't tell you how excited I am. The green jersey, the Champs-Elysees, world championships of sprints … I never thought I'd ever be able to in this sage," Bennett said. "And to do it in green, with my dream team is so special. The way the boys rode all day, they were fantastic. The feeling is so amazing, I can't thank everyone enough."

    STAGE RESULT 
     1. Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 2:53:32
     2. Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo)
     3. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe)
     4. Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates)
     5. Elia Viviani (Cofidis)

    CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

    General Classification
     1. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 87:20:05
     2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +0:59
     3. Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) +3:30

    Points Classification
     1. Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 380
     2. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 284
     3. Matteo Trentin (CCC) 260

    King of the Mountains
     1. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 82
     2. Richard Carapaz (Team INEOS) 74
     3. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 67

  • Pogacar reflects on incredible 'full gas' surge to Tour glory: I think I'm dreaming Pogacar reflects on incredible 'full gas' surge to Tour glory: I think I'm dreaming

    Tadej Pogacar felt like he was dreaming after his "full gas" individual time trial saw him storm to Tour de France glory on stage 20 on Saturday.

    Primoz Roglic had a 57-second advantage over fellow Slovenian Pogacar ahead of the 36.2-kilometre ride from Lure to La Planche des Belles Filles, which finished after a 5.9km category one climb.

    Pogacar, who was also in the hunt for the King of the Mountains title, set out at high speed and had effectively halved Roglic's lead when the hit the base of the ascent, where both riders switched to road bikes.

    Roglic was visibly struggling while 21-year-old Pogacar surged to triumph, with the Jumbo-Visma rider finishing one minute and 26 seconds later than his compatriot, who consequently took a 59-second lead in the general classification.

    Barring any problems in the processional final stage on Sunday, Pogacar will be confirmed as the second-youngest Tour winner after a 19-year-old Henri Cornet in 1904.

    "I think I'm dreaming. I don't know what to say. It's unbelievable," said Pogacar, who shared a hug with Roglic.

    "My dream was just to be on the Tour de France, now the dream is true. I'm here and now there's only the last stage. This is unbelievable. I don't know when I will get this. 

    "I'm really proud of the team. They did such a big effort. To get the yellow jersey on the final day is what we dreamed from the start. We achieved that and it's amazing. It was not just me, it was all the team. 

    "We did a reconnaissance and I knew every corner, every pothole in the road, I knew when to accelerate and that's congrats to all the team. I pushed to the end and I made it.

    "I was listening to my radio on the flat part but then on the climb, I didn't hear anything from the radio because the fans were too loud. I didn't get any time gaps, I just went deep. I knew the climb well and so went full gas from the bottom to the top."

    Pogacar's astounding performance also saw him beat Richard Carapaz to the polka dot jersey and clinch top spot in the young rider classification.

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