Diego Ulissi's late attack proved fruitful as the UAE Team Emirates rider saw off Peter Sagan to clinch stage two of the Giro d'Italia. 

Ulissi broke free from the peloton with around one kilometre to go on the final climb of the 149km route from Alcamo to Agrigento on Sunday. 

Sagan stuck with Ulissi until the final sprint but was unable to prevent the Italian claiming a seventh career stage win at the Giro. 

"It was a very hard climb, I did my maximum but Ulissi was stronger," Sagan said afterwards. "It was pretty hard, three kilometres at full gas." 

There was another strong performance from Team INEOS' Geraint Thomas, who maintained his lead over fellow general classification contender Simon Yates. 

Thomas is third in the overall standings, 23 seconds behind his INEOS team-mate Filippo Ganna, who has the lead following victory in Saturday's time trial. 

However, Ganna's full focus is now on supporting team leader Thomas. 

"The climb was really hard," Ganna said. "I've conserved the [Maglia Rosa] jersey, I'm really happy. From tomorrow, I'll work for the team because it's a really hard day and it can decide the jersey. 

"[My role] is to support G [Thomas], obviously. I'm here for that and happy to support him."

Filippo Ganna won the opening stage of the Giro d'Italia, while Team INEOS colleague Geraint Thomas claimed an early lead over his general classification rivals. 

INEOS had endured a frustrating Tour de France as reigning champion Egan Bernal withdrew before the end having fallen well off the pace, with Richard Carapaz then being pipped in the race for the King of the Mountains jersey. 

However, the British-based team enjoyed a better first day in Italy as Ganna claimed the maglia rosa after the 15.1-kilometre individual time trial. 

The home hope, who won the individual time trial at the world championships last week, finished in 15 minutes and 24 seconds, beating nearest challenger Joao Almeida by 22 seconds. 

Thomas, the 2018 Tour de France champion who did not race for this year's yellow jersey, is fourth after the first day, well ahead of fellow GC hopefuls Simon Yates and Vincenzo Nibali. 

Fabio Jakobsen will undergo reconstructive surgery on his jaw two months after a horror crash during the Tour of Poland left him in an induced coma.

The Deceuninck-QuickStep rider collided with barriers at high speed in a sickening incident during a sprint finish on the opening stage in August.

Dutchman Jakobsen said he felt "grateful to be alive", having feared he would die in hospital when he became conscious in intensive care.

The 24-year-old is now preparing for further operations on his road to recovery.

He tweeted: "The past 2 months have been dominated by my recovery after my crash in the Tour of Poland. First of all, I had to recover from my brain contusion and other bruises/injuries for a long time.

"The wounds/scars on my face are healing up well. and I am in the hands of Prof. Dr. S. Berge and Prof. Dr. G. Meijer.

"The surgery involves placing bone, taken from my pelvic crest, in my upper and lower jaw, because a lot of bone is missing there. This bone will have to heal for several months.

"After that, another surgery will take place to put implants in my jaw so that I can get new teeth, as I lost them during my crash."

Geraint Thomas will start as favourite to continue the run of non-Italian winners when the Giro d'Italia starts on Saturday.

Dave Brailsford left Thomas out for the Tour de France, which he won two years ago, and instead targeted Giro glory for the Brit.

Thomas is well fancied to be wearing the maglia rosa for INEOS Grenadiers at the end of the 21st and final stage - an individual time trial from Monza to Milan on October 25.

There will also be a time trial to start what is usually the first Grand Tour of the season, but was put back due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the riders taking a 15-kilometre route from Monreale into Palermo.

Trek-Segafredo's Vincenzo Nibali was the last Italian winner of the prestigious race in 2016 and will be hoping to mount a challenge, but Simon Yates, Steven Kruijswijk and Jakob Fuglsang could provide bigger threats to Thomas.

Ahead of the Giro, we picked out some of the key Opta facts…

6 - The last six winners of the Giro have been from different countries, with Richard Carapaz the latest to continue that trend for Ecuador last year.

2 - The last rider to win the general classification and take more than two stage victories along the way was Denis Menchov in 2009, crossing the line first three times.

9 - Nibali will start his ninth Giro and has finished on the podium in his last six appearances in his home Grand Tour, with two wins in 2013 and 2016.

2011 - The late Michele Scarponi was the last rider to win both the general and points classifications at the Giro back in 2011. That was also the last time a rider won the race riding for a team registered in Italy (Lampre-ISD).

3 - Three of the last five winners of the points classification at the Giro have been Italian riders: Giacomo Nizzolo in 2015 and 2016, Elia Viviani in 2018.

16 - Ryder Hesjedal won the Giro in 2012, finishing only 16 seconds ahead of Joaquim Rodriguez, the smallest margin for a winner since 1974. Five of the last nine editions have been decided by a margin of less than a minute.

1 - Peter Sagan will make his first appearance at the Giro after taking part in the Tour de France nine times and the Vuelta a Espana on four occasions. He has never won any classic races held in Italy.

6 - Kruijswijk has finished in the top 10 in six of the last seven Grand Tours he completed, including in two Giro (seventh in 2015, fourth in 2016). However, he is yet to get an individual win in a Grand Tour (excluding team time trials).

20 - Fausto Coppi (1940) is the youngest rider to win the Giro at 20 years and eight months, whereas Fiorenzo Magni (1955) is the oldest, aged 34 years and six months.

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).

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'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."


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."

 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)


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

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.

Tadej Pogacar effectively clinched the Tour de France title with an incredible performance as Primoz Roglic wilted in a dramatic individual time trial on Saturday.

UAE Team Emirates rider Pogacar, obliterated Roglic's 57-second lead in the general classification on the 36.2-kilometre ride from Lure to La Planche des Belles Filles, winning the penultimate stage with a simply stunning display.

Barring any potential shocks on the procession into Paris on Sunday, Pogacar will take his place at the top of the podium in a Grand Tour for the first time in his career.

The 21-year-old Slovenian crossed the line after 55 minutes and 55 seconds, with his compatriot Roglic producing a time that was one minute and 56 seconds slower – only good enough for fifth.

Pogacar had the yellow jersey and the King of the Mountains title in his sights but needed to go flat out in order to overthrow GC leader Roglic and polka dot jersey holder Richard Carapaz.

He started at a high pace and had 13 seconds on Roglic at the first checkpoint, and by the second split – which came at the base of a 5.9km climb at a gradient of 8.5 per cent – the Jumbo-Visma rider's overall advantage had been cut to 21 seconds.

Both switched to road bikes at the base of the ascent but Roglic's changeover was far more sluggish and he appeared to be in trouble as he got out of his seat for more power.

He could not match the phenomenal pace of Pogacar, who completed an unbelievable turnaround to take the yellow jersey and top the climbing classifications, with Carapaz failing to get a point.

Roglic slumped to the floor after getting off his bike and stared blankly ahead, the title having evaded him despite being in yellow since after stage nine.

Richie Porte was third fastest on the day, which proved enough to move past Miguel Angel Lopez and secure a place on the third step of the podium, while Sam Bennett all but clinched the green jersey.


Prior to the heading down the ramp, Pogacar told the media "everything is possible". He proved that was true with one of the greatest comebacks in Tour history.

"I think I'm dreaming. I don't know what to say. Unbelievable," he said following his triumph.

Roglic, who slipped 59 seconds adrift of Pogacar following a disappointing display, then interrupted the interview to give his compatriot a hug and say "good job".

Pogacar will become the second-youngest Tour de France winner in history – behind a 19-year-old Henri Cornet in 1904 – when he crosses the line on Sunday.

1. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 55:55
2. Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma) +1:21
3. Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) +1:21
4. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) +1:31
5. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +1:56


General Classification
1. Tadej Pogacar (Team Emirates) 84:26:33
2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +0:59
3. Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) +3:30

Points Classification
1. Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 319
2. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 264
3. Matteo Trentin (CCC) 250

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


The champagne will be flowing as the riders cover the flat 122km route from Mantes-La-Jolie to the iconic Champs-Elysees in Paris.

Tadej Pogacar effectively clinched the Tour de France title with an incredible performance as Primoz Roglic wilted in a dramatic individual time trial on Saturday.

UAE Team Emirates rider Pogacar, obliterated Roglic's 57-second lead in the general classification on the 36.2-kilometre ride from Lure to La Planche des Belles Filles, winning the penultimate stage with a simply stunning display.

Barring any potential shocks on the procession into Paris on Sunday, Pogacar will take his place at the top of the podium in a Grand Tour for the first time in his career.

The 21-year-old Slovenian crossed the line after 55 minutes and 55 seconds, with his compatriot Roglic producing a time that was one minute and 56 seconds slower – only good enough for fifth.

Soren Kragh Andersen claimed his second stage win of the Tour de France as Primoz Roglic stayed in pole position to claim the yellow jersey.

Andersen, who also prevailed on stage 14, took stage 19 with an attack 16 kilometres from the finish line of the 166.5-kilometre ride from Bourg-en-Bresse to Champagnole.

It was an attack to which the chasing pack had no answer, the Team Sunweb rider quickly building an insurmountable advantage.

He crossed the line 53 seconds ahead of his nearest challengers, but the focus will now shift firmly to Roglic and the overall race leader's Slovenian compatriot Tadej Pocagar.

That pair finished back in the peloton, over seven and a half minutes adrift of Kragh Andersen.

Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) remains 57 seconds ahead of Pogacar (Team Emirates) with Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) a further 30 seconds back.

They will battle it out for the general classification in Saturday's time trial before the Tour comes to an end with a processional final flat stage to the Champs-Elysees in Paris.

Kragh Andersen's previous victory, on a flat stage from Clermont-Ferrand to Lyon, saw him attack three kilometres from the finish.

His push for victory this time, from a 12-man group at the front after Matteo Trentin (CCC Team) failed with an attack, was more ambitious but no less effective as he had plenty in his legs to surge clear.

As he entered the final kilometres, Kragh Andersen could be heard asking for confirmation of his time gap, unaware of the massive lead he had built.

He never had any need to worry about his victory being threatened, the Dane well worthy of the plaudits he will take before the battle for the GC crown takes centre stage.



Kragh Andersen was left stunned by the decisive nature of his advantage, saying in his post-race interview: "In the last kilometre, when I was screaming 'Can you confirm one minute?', I didn't believe it."

Of his attack, he said: "I was thinking the same... 'Here's all the best riders in the world, how do I beat these guys?'. I was thinking, 'If I get a small gap maybe they start looking at each other', that's what happened.

"Two wins in the Tour de France... I'm speechless. It's a memory for life. I'm just super happy."

1. Soren Kragh Andersen (Team Sunweb) 3:36:33
2. Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-Scott) +0:53
3. Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo)
4. Greg Van Avermaet (CCC Team)
5. Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale)


General Classification
1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 83:29:41
2. Tadej Pogacar (Team Emirates) +0:57
3. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) +1:27

Points Classification
1. Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 319 points
2. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 264
3. Matteo Trentin (CCC) 250

King of the Mountains
1. Richard Carapaz (Team INEOS) 74
2. Tadej Pogacar (Team Emirates) 72
3. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 67


The Tour will effectively be decided by Saturday's penultimate stage, which takes the form of a mountain time trial from Lure to La Planche des Belles Filles.

Michal Kwiatkowski and Richard Carapaz gave Team INEOS a Tour de France fillip as they crossed the stage 18 finish line arm in arm.

Riders of Team INEOS, previously known as Team Sky, have won seven of the previous eight Tours, and each of the previous five, but their great yellow jersey hope and defending champion Egan Bernal withdrew from this year's race on Wednesday due to a back injury.

However, there was better news a day later as Carapaz seized the king of the mountains jersey and Kwiatkowski won the first stage of his career in his seventh Tour.

The team-mates were well clear of their rivals and were involved in discussions about how they should approach the finish line, with Carapaz just holding back to allow Kwiatkowski to marginally cross first.

Wout van Aert, a two-time stage winner at this year's Tour, was third, ahead of general classification leader Primoz Roglic and nearest rival Tadej Pogacar, who remains 57 seconds behind his fellow Slovenian in the race for yellow with only three stages to go.

Carapaz had been battling Marc Hirschi in the mountains but that ended when the Swiss youngster crashed with just under 80 kilometres to go, initially losing a minute on the leaders and falling further back as the race continued.

There was little to trouble yellow jersey holder Roglic, though, and at one point he put his hand on Pogacar's back in a relaxed manner while the two chatted with 14km to go.

Richie Porte, now fourth in the GC standings, had to fight back from suffering a puncture and he, along with Mikel Landa, were in the group to finish a second after Roglic and Pogacar.


A day to remember for Kwiatkowski

Kwiatkowski has been an under-appreciated cog to many outsiders amid the Team INEOS and Team Sky success of recent years, but he finally got his moment in the spotlight.

"I just can't describe how grateful I am to the whole team and to Richard," he said afterwards. "That was an incredible day for us and I will never forget that.

"I've had some nice moments in cycling but that was a new experience. I've got goosebumps because I knew the gap was so big that we were going to make it.

"Both of us enjoyed the last kilometres, that was incredible."


1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Team INEOS) 4:47:33
2. Richard Carapaz (Team INEOS) +0:00
3. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) +1:51
4. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +1:53
5. Tadej Pogacar (Team Emirates) +1:53


General Classification
1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 79:45:30
2. Tadej Pogacar (Team Emirates) +0:57
3. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) +1:27

Points Classification
1. Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 298 points
2. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 246
3. Matteo Trentin (CCC) 235

King of the Mountains
1. Richard Carapaz (Team INEOS) 74
2. Tadej Pogacar (Team Emirates) 72
3. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 67

The final stage before the decisive time trial is a 166.5km flat run from Bourg-en-Bresse to Champagnole where the sprinters will get the chance to hit the headlines.

Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez won stage 17 of the Tour de France as Primoz Roglic extended his lead in the race. 

Astana's Lopez pulled clear of the other general classification contenders at the summit of Col de la Loze for his first ever stage win, beating Roglic into second by 15 seconds. 

That victory moved Lopez into third overall, while Roglic moved almost a minute clear at the top of the pack as Tadej Pogacar finished in third. Rigoberto Uran, who went into the stage in third, was almost two minutes back.

The 170km stage from Grenoble started shortly after defending champion Egan Bernal had pulled out of the race after falling away from contention as a result of a back injury. 

Richard Carapaz was the only survivor of a break which had featured Tuesday's winner Lennard Kamna, but he was caught with 3km to go.

Lopez powered ahead for victory after passing Carapaz, while Roglic rode away from Pogacar in the closing stages. 

At the start of the day, Deceuninck-Quick-Step's Sam Bennett used the intermediate sprint to add two points to his advantage in the green jersey, which now stands at 47 points.

Pogacar, meanwhile, led the peloton over the Madeleine and added the king of the mountains polka dot jersey to his best young rider's white jersey. 


Colombian altitude helped me - Lopez 

An emotional Lopez said he felt at home throughout the stage and was prepared for how tough it was thanks to plenty of practice in his native Colombia.

"I'm really happy and very emotional," he said. "We worked really hard for this and it wasn't easy to get there. We were confident because we knew the terrain suited us. It was over 2000 metres of altitude, like being at home in Colombia and so it was an opportunity for me. We fought for this stage."

1. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) 4:49:08
2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +0:15
3. Tadej Pogacar (Team Emirates) +0:30
4. Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) +0:56
5. Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) +1:01


General Classification
1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 74:56:04
2. Tadej Pogacar (Team Emirates) +0:57
3. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) +1:26

Points Classification
1. Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 278 points
2. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 231
3. Matteo Trentin (CCC) 218

King of the Mountains
1. Tadej Pogacar (Team Emirates) 66
2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 63
3. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) 51

Thursday's stage will see the riders undertake the 168km journey from Meribel to La Roche-sur-Foron, which runs parallel to the borders with Italy and Switzerland. They will face five intermediate climbs before a downhill finish into La Roche-sur-Foron.

Reigning champion Egan Bernal has withdrawn from the Tour de France ahead of stage 17 after falling well out of contention.

The Team INEOS rider cracked in Sunday's stage 15 on the Grand Colombier to drop from third to 13th and lost more time on yellow jersey holder Primoz Roglic on Tuesday.

Bernal, who became the youngest winner of the Tour since World War II when triumphing last year, indicated he intended to see out the final four competitive stages.

However, on the morning of Wednesday's queen stage to Col de la Loze, INEOS announced the Colombian will now save himself for other upcoming races.

Team principal Dave Brailsford said in a statement: "We have taken this decision with Egan's best interests at heart. 

"Egan is a true champion who loves to race, but he is also a young rider, with many Tours ahead of him and at this point, on balance, we feel it is wiser for him to stop racing."

Bernal slipped to 16th in the standings on Tuesday, just over 19 minutes off the lead, and he feels the decision to abandon the Tour is the right choice.

"This is obviously not how I wanted my Tour de France to end, but I agree that it is the right decision for me in the circumstances," he said.

"I have the greatest respect for this race and I am already looking forward to coming back in the years ahead."

Tadej Pogacar remains within 40 seconds of leader and compatriot Roglic heading into stage 17, with Rigoberto Uran one minute and 34 seconds behind in third.

Lennard Kamna landed his first Tour de France stage victory on a day when the overall race leaders saved their legs for what could be a make-or-break Wednesday.

As Germany's Kamna celebrated his maiden triumph, the picture at the top of the general classification after stage 16 remained unchanged, with Primoz Roglic and Tadej Pogacar remaining 40 seconds apart.

The peloton arrived at Villard-de-Lans a full 16 minutes and 48 seconds after Kamna crossed the line, having shown no interest at any time in following the breakaway pack.

Two monumental climbs in stage 17 could prove telling, so there was no need to exert excess energy on the 164-kilometre ride from La Tour-du-Pin.

It was nonetheless a day where a gaggle of riders out of GC contention took the opportunity to shine.

An early breakaway grew into a 23-rider squadron, splintering intermittently as the stage progressed.

Quentin Pacher made a solo break from the pack as they began the ascent to the town of Saint-Nizier-du-Moucherotte, which in 1968 hosted Olympic ski jumping, but he could not sustain the increase in pace.

The testing category one climb caught up with the Tour debutant, and his bold dart was reined in by four others, with Ecuador's Richard Carapaz (Team INEOS) leading the next burst that shook off Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe.

Kamna (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Swiss Sebastien Reichenbach (Groupama-FDJ) followed him, and it was Kamna who sprinted away to take the king of the mountain points, with Pierre Rolland having earlier claimed priceless points when he was first to climb the Cote de Revel.

This break was to prove decisive, with Kamna powering ahead on the open road to take the line first, a minute and 27 seconds ahead of Carapaz, with Reichenbach in third spot, 29 seconds further adrift.

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."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.