Tour de France: Pogacar has no room for sentiment in title tussle with Roglic

By Sports Desk September 14, 2020

Tadej Pogacar will not allow sentiment to hold him back as he seeks to secure Tour de France glory at the expense of friend and compatriot Primoz Roglic.

The Slovenian duo are leading the way this year with Roglic in yellow, 40 seconds ahead of Pogacar, who has the honour of the young rider's white jersey after winning stage 15.

With Roglic's Jumbo-Visma team setting a blistering pace across many of the stages so far, he looks best placed to take the title from Egan Bernal after the Team INEOS rider cracked on Sunday to fall well off the pace.

But 21-year-old Pogacar, who looks up to the man nine years his senior, is dreaming of standing atop the podium in Paris himself.

"We [he and Roglic] have a good relationship, but on the road we all want to win every time because this is cycling, this is sport and everyone wants to win," the UAE Team Emirates rider said.

"So, yes, on the road we respect each other. I look up to him, he's a really strong guy, a good rider.

"I have a lot of respect for him, but if I can win I will take the opportunity. 

"Jumbo-Visma is the strongest team this year probably, especially this Tour, but we also have a strong team. We are confident and if we can take some time that would be perfect.

"The battle for yellow is not finished, but I cannot tell you exactly how we are going to fight for it because then there's no surprise."

Speaking during the Tour's second rest day, Pogacar was asked if he could have envisaged finding himself in this position.

"No, not really," he replied. "Before the start of the Tour I was confident in my shape, I knew that I was prepared.

"But to be here on the second rest day with two stages and second in the GC [general classification] with the white jersey, it's a little bit hard to believe if someone would have said that to me.

"But now we are here and we will fight to the end."

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    Sagan's Bora-Hansgrohe team worked superbly throughout a predominantly flat stage 10 from L'Aquila to Foligno to set Sagan up to triumph.

    A seven-time winner of the points classification on the Tour de France, Sagan made sure their efforts did not go to waste.

    He got the better of Fernando Gaviria in a bunch sprint, having won his first Giro stage in an individual effort last year.

    Sagan now has 18 Grand Tour stage wins to his name, putting him in a three-way tie with Rudi Altig and Nino Defilippis for 21st on the all-time list among those with at least one triumph at each event.

    It looked as if Gaviria may be in prime position to claim the stage as UAE Team Emirates led out the sprint with 500 metres to go.

    But it was Sagan who had more left in his legs at the finish and said afterwards: "I have to say thanks to all my team-mates, they did an impressive job. I'm very happy to win a stage like this, it was a great job from all the team."

    Egan Bernal stays in the maglia rosa going into the first rest day of this year's Giro, which will resume on Wednesday with a 162km ride from Perugia to Montalcino back on gravel roads.
     

    STAGE RESULT  

    1. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 3:10:56
    2. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) same time
    3. Davide Cimolai (Israel Start-Up Nation) "
    4. Stefano Oldani (Lotto Soudal) "
    5. Gianni Vermeersch (Alpecin-Fenix) "

    CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

    General Classification

    1. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) 38:30:17
    2. Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-Quick Step) +0.14
    3. Alexandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech) +0.22

    Points Classification

    1. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 108
    2. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) 91
    3. Davide Cimolai (Israel Start-Up Nation) 91

    King of the Mountains
     
    1. Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroen Team) 51
    2. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) 48
    3. Gino Mader (Bahrain Victorious) 44

  • Bernal climbs into Giro lead after long-awaited stage win Bernal climbs into Giro lead after long-awaited stage win

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    Bernal claimed a long-overdue maiden Grand Tour stage triumph following a gruelling 157-kilometre ride from Castel di Sangro to Campo Felice that concluded with an uphill finish on a gravel track.

    Geoffrey Bouchard and Koen Bouwman were involved in a breakaway group but were unable to remain clear, the duo overtaken within 500 metres of the line.

    A determined Bernal pushed hard to claim potentially crucial time in the battle for the maglia rosa, finishing seven seconds clear of Giulio Ciccone and Alexandr Vlasov, who were second and third respectively.

    The 2019 Tour de France winner now has a 15-second cushion over nearest rival Remco Evenepoel in the overall standings.

    "I cannot believe what just happened, I just won my first stage in a Grand Tour," Bernal said in his post-race interview.

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    "My team-mates had a lot of confidence in me, they told me I could do it: this victory is for them, they really believe in me."

    Attila Valter had held the pink jersey heading into the stage, yet he found the going tough on the final climb and finished almost a minute behind the stage winner.

    Meanwhile, Matej Mohoric was taken to hospital following a dramatic crash during proceedings. Team Bahrain Victorious confirmed the Slovenian would undergo tests and was to be kept under observation, as per the UCI's concussion protocol.

    Mohoric somersaulted over his handlebars after coming off during a descent, with his bike splitting apart after making contact with a crash barrier.


    STAGE RESULT  

    1. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) 4:08:23
    2. Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) +07secs
    3. Alexandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech) "
    4. Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-Quick Step) +10s
    5. Daniel Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) "

    CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

    General Classification

    1. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) 35:19:22
    2. Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-Quick Step) +0.15
    3. Alexandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech) +0.21

    Points Classification

    1. Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) 83
    2. Giacomo Nizzolo (Team Qhubeka Assos) 76
    3. Elia Viviani (Cofidis) 69

    King of the Mountains
     
    1. Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroen Team) 51
    2. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) 48
    3. Gino Mader (Bahrain Victorious) 44

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    The 25-year-old French rider made a solo dart to the finish line with just under three kilometres remaining, crossing 36 seconds ahead of Francesco Gavazzi (Eolo-Kometa), who edged out Nikias Arndt (Team DSM).

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    Lafay said of his first major win as a professional: "It's incredible. It was a very tough day.

    "To take the breakaway was very difficult, but when it's gone the peloton left us seven minutes, so it was good, we could recover a little.

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    Speaking on Eurosport, Lafay said he felt Portuguese rider Nelson Oliveira (Movistar) was the big threat from the riders who had pulled clear of the peloton.

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    STAGE RESULT  

    1. Victor Lafay (Cofidis) 4:06:47
    2. Francesco Gavazzi (Eolo-Kometa) +36 secs
    3. Nikias Arndt (Team DSM) +37s
    4. Nelson Oliveira (Movistar) +41s
    5. Giovanni Carboni (Bardiani-CSF-Faizane) +44s

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    General Classification

    1. Attila Valter (Groupama-FDJ) 31:10:53
    2. Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-Quick Step) +0.11
    3. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) +0.16

    Points Classification

    1. Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) 83
    2. Giacomo Nizzolo (Team Qhubeka Assos) 76
    3. Elia Viviani (Cofidis) 69

    King of the Mountains

    1. Gino Mader (Bahrain Victorious) 26
    2. Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroen Team) 18
    3. Kobe Goossens (Lotto Soudal) 18

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