The young Pogacar, 21 years old, added his second victory and consolidated himself as the theoretical great rival of Roglic and his devastating formation for the victory, in the absence of the Alps dictate sentence in a fight in which the Spaniards Mikel Landa hope to be (Bahrain-McLaren) and Enric Mas (Movistar Team), still with good options at least for the podium. Veteran Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) also scored at a good level and is close to the ‘Top 10’.
It was not an ‘attractive’ day and full of attacks, but the great part of the blame was surely the Jumbo-Visma. The leader’s team has taken over the quasi-imperial command that INEOS / Sky had in recent years and dominated the pool of candidates from start to finish, though that job was also not crowned by Roglic’s greater ambition.
The Dutch formation arrived with its ‘leader of the ranks’, with the American Seep Kuss and the Dutch Tom Dumoulin at the final meters of the finish line, and before, with Wout van Aert or Robert Gesink, it prevented anyone from leaving, forward, of the established order. Yes, on the other hand, he ‘crushed’ those who were not well in a port of great toughness like the Grand Colombier, among them the Colombians Egan Bernal and Nairo Quintana, who practically, except for a miraculous recovery, said goodbye even to the podium.
The Jumbo-Visma was ambitious from the whole day and did not even reserve strength for a getaway. The French Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept), the Austrian Michel Gogl (NTT) and the Spanish Jesús Herrada (Cofidis) could not enjoy the approval and their advantage was never wide enough to have even dreamed of.
YACHTS, THE ONLY BRAVE
The leader’s team did not give respite at the first two passes of the day, the Selle de Fromentel and the Biche, and neither did they stop when the ascent to the Grand Colombier began. And 13 kilometers from the finish line, he achieved his first great goal: to take down the current champion and Quintana. The first, despite the company of Jonathan Castroviejo and Michal Kwiatkowski, sank little by little until he lost more than seven minutes, while his compatriot, helped by Warren Barguil, left the wound in four minutes.
At the rhythm of Van Aert, pieces were taken down, although Mikel Landa (Bahrain-McLaren) and the ‘movistar’ Enric Mas and Alejandro Valverde held up well. Only the British Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) dared to shake the imposed order, but his attack lasted a sigh and everything returned to what Roglic’s team dictated.
This one did not risk and only looked for the stage victory and the bonus seconds with an attack just over 600 meters to go. His compatriot Pogacar, the Australian Richie Porte (Trek) and the Colombian Miguel Ángel López (Astana) came out with him, and it was finally the UAE runner who took a win that leaves him 40 seconds behind Roglic in the absence of the final week.
For his part, the Colombian Rigoberto Urán (EF) ascended to the third step of the podium, which, for now, seems to be what the two Slovenian cyclists, the strongest so far, are going to leave for the rest. Landa, seventh at 2:16 behind the leader and 42 from Urán, and Mas, eighth at 3:15 from Roglic and 1:41 from the box, remain as tricks for that goal that will begin on Tuesday after the second day of rest of this Monday.
1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO / UAE Team Emirates) 4: 34.13.
2. Primoz Roglic (SLO / Jumbo-Visma) mt
3. Richie Porte (AUS / Trek-Segafredo) a 5.
4. Miguel Ángel López (COL / Astana) 8.
5. Enric Mas (ESP / Movistar Team) 15.
7. MIKEL LANDA (ESP/Bahrain) m.t.
10. ALEJANDRO VALVERDE (ESP / Movistar Team) 24.
1. Primoz Roglic (SLO / Jumbo-Visma) 65:37:07.
2. Tadej Pogacar (SLO/UAE Team Emirates) a 40.
3. Rigoberto Urán (COL/Education First) 1:34.
4. Miguel Ángel López (COL / Astana) 1:45.
5. Adam Yates (GBR/Mitchelton-Scott) 2:03.
7. MIKEL LANDA (ESP / Bahrain) 2:16.
8. ENRIC MAS (ESP / Movistar Team) 3:15.
12. ALEJANDRO VALVERDE (ESP / Movistar Team) 6:52.