Vingeard smashes Pogacar to win stage and seal Tour de France glory

Tadej Pogacar’s hopes of dethroning Jonas Vingaard as Tour de France leader were extinguished after the final mountain stage in the Pyrenees, in which the Dane increased his overall lead, with just three stages left in this race. remaining years.

As at the Col du Granon, Pogacar lost contact with Vingegaard halfway through the final climb, after a ferocious turn from his Jumbo-Visma teammate Wout van Aert distanced the Slovenian. Vingegaard reached the finish in Hautacam to claim his second mountain stage victory, while Pogacar crossed the finish line more than a minute later.

The last day of the Tour convoy in the mountains before it turned and started the journey north towards Paris, brought more sweltering heat and a lot of suffering. One of those who suffered the most was Pogacar, who finished the stage with ripped shorts after crashing on the descent of the penultimate climb.

Once again, the leading duo transcended their peers. They clashed on the narrow climb of the Col de Spandelles, the penultimate ascent of the day. Pogacar’s accelerations were matched by Vingaard’s tenacity, but more drama was to come on the descent.

The Slovenian, trying to exert even greater pressure, forced the pace and saw the race leader’s rear wheel slip in a corner, but Vingegaard somehow pulled himself together and stayed upright.

“I dropped my chain and tried to pedal,” the Dane said. “Of course you don’t have friction, so my rear wheel slipped and it was a bit of a mistake, but I was able to get back to Tadej.”

Result of stage 18 (Lourdes-Hautacam)

1. Jonas Vingaard (Den, Jumbo-Visma) 3h 59m 50s
2. Tadej Pogacar (Slo, UAE Team-Emirates) +1:04
3. Wout van Aert (Bel, Jumbo-Visma) +2:10
4. Geraint Thomas (GB, Ineos Grenadiers) +2:54
5. David Gaudu (Fr, Groupama-FDJ) +2h58
6. Alexei Lutsenko (Kaz, Astana) +3:09
7. Daniel Martínez (Col, Ineos Grenadiers)
8. Sepp Kuss (USA, Jumbo-Visma) +3:27
9. Alexander Vlasov (Rus, Bora-Hansgrohe) +4:04
10. Thibaut Pinot (Fr, Groupama-FDJ) +4h09

General classification

  1. Jonas Vingeard (Jumbo-Visma) 71h 53m 34s
  2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates) +3m 26s
  3. Geraint Thomas (Ineos) +8m 0s
  4. David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) +11m 5s
  5. Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic) +13m 35s
  6. Louis Meintjes (Intermarché) +13m 43s
  7. Alexandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe) +14m 10s
  8. Romain Bardet (DSM) +16m 11s
  9. Alexei Lutsenko (Astana) +20m 9s
  10. Adam Yates (Ineos) +20m 17s

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Tour de France: result of stage 18 and general classification

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Result of stage 18 (Lourdes-Hautacam)

1. Jonas Vingaard (Den, Jumbo-Visma) 3h 59m 50s
2. Tadej Pogacar (Slo, UAE Team-Emirates) +1:04
3. Wout van Aert (Bel, Jumbo-Visma) +2:10
4. Geraint Thomas (GB, Ineos Grenadiers) +2:54
5. David Gaudu (Fr, Groupama-FDJ) +2h58
6. Alexei Lutsenko (Kaz, Astana) +3:09
7. Daniel Martínez (Col, Ineos Grenadiers)
8. Sepp Kuss (USA, Jumbo-Visma) +3:27
9. Alexander Vlasov (Rus, Bora-Hansgrohe) +4:04
10. Thibaut Pinot (Fr, Groupama-FDJ) +4h09

General classification

  1. Jonas Vingeard (Jumbo-Visma) 71h 53m 34s
  2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates) +3m 26s
  3. Geraint Thomas (Ineos) +8m 0s
  4. David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) +11m 5s
  5. Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic) +13m 35s
  6. Louis Meintjes (Intermarché) +13m 43s
  7. Alexandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe) +14m 10s
  8. Romain Bardet (DSM) +16m 11s
  9. Alexei Lutsenko (Astana) +20m 9s
  10. Adam Yates (Ineos) +20m 17s

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Moments later, it was Pogacar’s turn to be wrong. The Slovenian overcooked a left turn and found himself sprawled in the gravel by the side of the road.

As Pogacar got to his feet, Vingaard slowed his pace and coasted down the climb, until the defending champion regained his composure.

When the two-time Tour winner retired alongside the couple, he shook hands, in recognition of the Dane’s sportsmanship.

“Of course I waited for it,” Vingaard said. “Tadej went a little too fast in a corner and he was in the ditch and gravel, then tried to get back on the road and the bike overturned.

The leaders attack the Col de Spandelles during the 18th stage
The leaders attack the Col de Spandelles during the 18th stage. Photography: Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images

Ahead Van Aert led the last breakaway on the climb to Hautacam, with Thibaut Pinot and Geraint Thomas’ Ineos Grenadiers teammate Dani Martínez.

But by the time the trio entered the final six kilometres, the Vingegaard-Pogacar express was coming fast and Van Aert had to put aside his personal ambitions and resume his duties as a support driver.

“The Col du Granon stage and today are two very good examples of the strength of this team,” said Vingaard. “I’m so happy to have such a strong team around me.

“Having Wout van Aert, the best rider in the world, as an assistant, the green jersey. They were all incredibly strong, so I have to thank them so many times.

Further down the mountain, Thomas was crossing the mill again. In what was perhaps his most accomplished performance on the Tour, his resilience and cunning allowed him to hold on to third place overall, despite attempts by David Gaudu and Nairo Quintana to slip past him.

“I was going through some ups and downs today,” said the Welshman. “I felt good when it started, I just started going at my own pace.

“The last climb, I wanted to stay with them until the steep hill, but I struggled there and had a bad run. I turned my back a little, once I changed my bike [after a puncture].”

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    “We still have tomorrow with crosswinds all day, because nothing is easy in this race,” he said of Friday’s stage in Cahors. “But I will try to recover and prepare for the time trial.”

    Vingeard now leads Pogacar by almost three and a half minutes. There is a final head-to-head in Saturday’s individual time trial, before the ceremonial stage in Paris on Sunday afternoon. The Dane may not want to talk about it yet, but barring incredible disaster, the race is won.

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