Tour de France: Van Aert claims time trial glory as Pogacar heads to Paris in yellow

By Sports Desk July 17, 2021

Tadej Pogacar was unable to secure a time trial victory on stage 20 of the Tour de France but will complete the formality of back-to-back general classification triumphs in Paris on Sunday.

On last year's penultimate stage, Pogacar overhauled a 57 second deficit to fellow Slovenian Primoz Roglic to snatch the Yellow Jersey, completing one of the most staggering turnarounds in the history of the race.

Such drama was never on the cards on the 31 kilometre route to Saint Emilion, given UAE Team Emirates' Pogacar boasted a lead in excess of five minutes, which Jonas Vingegaard trimmed slightly but not significantly as the race heads to its ceremonial conclusion in the French capital.

As such, he never had to pursue the stage win and its associated undue risk, with victory going to Wout van Aert in a time of 35 minutes and 53 seconds.

The Belgian rider has enjoyed a superb Tour and this was his second stage win – a sharply contrasting success to him twice conquering Mont Ventoux on a historic stage 11.

“It is quite something, winning a Tour de France time trial has been one of the biggest objectives in my career," Van Aert told ITV. "I've been really focused on this day in the last couple of days and I'm so happy that I can finish it off. The course was perfect for me."

Van Aert's Jumbo-Visma team-mate Vingegaard came in third, consolidating second place in the general classification standings, while fellow Dane Kasper Asgreen was runner-up on the day, 21 seconds in arrears.

Pogacar rolled in 57 seconds shy of Van Aert's mark in eighth, having long made this year's Yellow Jersey his own.

STAGE RESULT

1. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) 35:53
2. Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) +0:21
3. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) +0:32
4. Stefan Kung (Groupama-FDJ) +:0:38
5. Nils Politt (EF Education-Nippo) +0:44

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 79:40:09
2. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) +5:20
3. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) +7:03

Points Classification

1. Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 304
2. Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange) 269
3. Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious) 216

King of the Mountains

1. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 107
2. Wouter Poels (Bahrain Victorious) 88
3. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 82

What's next?

Alongside Pogacar's coronation in Paris, much of the focus will be on whether Mark Cavendish can sprint to glory on the Champs Elysees and go clear of the great Eddy Merckx with a 35th stage win of his career.

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  • Vuelta a Espana: Roglic unrivalled as he seals hat-trick in style Vuelta a Espana: Roglic unrivalled as he seals hat-trick in style

    Primoz Roglic secured his third successive Vuelta a Espana title with an imperious performance in Sunday's time trial finale.

    Roglic entered the 33.8 kilometre ride from Padron to Santiago de Compostel all but sure of winning La Roja barring a remarkable turn of events.

    And the Slovenian finished things off in style as he became only the fourth rider in history to win the Vuelta on three separate occasions.

    Roglic also succeeded in matching Roberto Heras' feat of three consecutive triumphs (set between 2003 and 2005).

    He did so by crossing the line in 44 minutes and two seconds, claiming his fourth stage win of this year's Vuelta, which was bookended by Roglic victories, the Olympic time trial champion have started this year's race with a triumph on stage one.

    The Jumbo-Visma rider surpassed Magnus Cort's previous best time by 14 seconds, with Thymen Arensman 52 seconds off the pace in third.

    It meant his final winning margin over Spain's Enric Mas (Movistar) was a massive four minutes and 42 seconds, with Australia's Jack Haig third for Bahrain Victorious.

    As if to hammer home his superiority, Roglic overtook Mas on the final turn before crossing the line, providing an exclamation point as he underlined his status as one of the finest Grand Tour racers on the planet and a clear favourite to challenge for yet more glory next season.

  • Vuelta a Espana: Roglic closes in on victory with second-place finish behind Champoussin Vuelta a Espana: Roglic closes in on victory with second-place finish behind Champoussin

    Primoz Roglic would need an almighty slip up to fail to win the Vuelta a Espana, though Saturday's penultimate stage belonged to Clement Champoussin.

    A monster, 202.2-kilometre route culminated in a summit finish on Mos. Castro de Herville, with 23-year-old Champoussin attacking with 1500m remaining to take the first stage win of his professional career.

    The Frenchman crossed the line six seconds ahead of Roglic, who had led a chasing pack that caught breakaway leader Ryan Gibbons with around 4km left.

    Roglic's second-place finish, two seconds ahead of nearest general classification rival Enric Mas of Movistar, should surely see the Jumbo-Visma rider claim La Roja for a third successive year.

    It could all change in Sunday's time trial, but having won gold in such an event at the Tokyo Olympics, Roglic will know a third Vuelta crown is within his grasp.

    Should he hold onto his GC lead, which stands at 2:38, Roglic will become only the fourth rider in history to win the Vuelta on three separate occasions, while he will also match Roberto Heras' feat of three consecutive triumphs (set between 2003 and 2005).

    Stage 20 belonged to Champoussin, however. After Roglic, Mas, Adam Yates and Jack Haig had caught Gibbons, the AG2R Citroen rider lodged a surprise offensive, catching the quintet cold.

    For a moment, with Roglic gaining ground, it looked as though Champoussin - who only turned pro last year - may have gone too soon, but he held on to claim a maiden grand tour stage success.

    Behind Roglic, Adam Yates of INEOS Grenadiers just edged out Mas to secure a top-three finish. A dismal day for Miguel Angel Lopez saw him abandon the race with 20km remaining after he failed to keep pace with the general classification group.

    STAGE RESULT

    1. Clement Champoussin (AG2R Citroen) 05:21:50
    2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +0:06
    3. Adam Yates (INEOS Grenadiers) +0:08

    CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

    General Classification

    1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 83:11:27
    2. Enric Mas (Movistar) +2:38
    3. Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious) +4:48

    Points Classification

    1. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 250
    2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 179
    3. Magnus Cort (EF Education-Nippo) 145

    King of the Mountains

    1. Michael Storer (Team DSM) 80
    2. Romain Bardet (Team DSM) 61
    3. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 51

    What's next?

    Sunday's final stage is a 33.8km time trial from Padron to Santiago de Compostela. A consistent climb is followed by downhill, technical sections and a flat straight to the line. 

     

  • Vuelta a Espana: Roglic maintains overall lead as Cort celebrates 'dream' third stage win Vuelta a Espana: Roglic maintains overall lead as Cort celebrates 'dream' third stage win

    Primoz Roglic heads into the final weekend of the Vuelta a Espana with a third successive title within touching distance, while Magnus Cort won stage 19 on Friday.

    Danish rider Cort, who also triumphed on stages six and 12, was the quickest man in a breakaway, holding off Rui Oliveira and Quinn Simmons to clinch victory in Monforte de Lemos.

    EF Education-Nippo team-mate Lawson Craddock powered out to lead the final sprint and though Simmons attacked with 200 metres to go, it was Cort who caught the slipstream to claim a dramatic win by a bike length at the culmination of a 191.2-kilometre stage.

    Cort, who won two stages in the 2016 Vuelta and one in 2020, said: "It's amazing, it's a dream now, I really hope I don't wake up. It was not before the last five or six kilometres that I started believing.

    "They always kept us close and it was a really hard day. We didn't always work perfect together in the front, we had a few attacks that reduced the size of the group.

    "I think everybody had tired legs and it was hard to work together in this hilly terrain but somehow we managed to hang onto it."

    Roglic kept his general classification competitors at arm's length as he retained his grasp on La Roja heading into the last two stages, finishing 18 seconds behind the leaders.

    Saturday's mountain stage could still cause problems, while Roglic has been hurt by time trials in grand tours before – the 2020 Tour de France was settled in Tadej Pogacar's favour in such a manner – but the Slovenian looks well placed to make it three Vuelta wins in a row.

    Roglic's family were on hand to witness him receive the 50th overall leader jersey of his career, and the Olympic gold medallist knows he is on the verge of a remarkable achievement.

    "It’s beautiful to have my family here. They are my life and I'm very happy," he said.

    "It was a hard day from the start to the finish. A super strong break went away. For us, it was fine, and we could take it easy. But La Vuelta is coming to an end so there aren’t much opportunities left.

    "The sprinters' teams pulled with a super hard tempo. It's crazy [that this is my 50th Grand Tour leader’s jersey]. Hopefully I can keep it."

    STAGE RESULT

    1. Magnus Cort (EF Education-Nippo) 04:24:54
    2. Rui Oliveira (UAE Team Emirates) same time
    3. Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo) same time

    CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

    General Classification

    1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 77:49:37
    2. Enric Mas (Movistar) +2:30
    3. Miguel Angel Lopez (Movistar) +2:53

    Points Classification

    1. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 250
    2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 162
    3. Magnus Cort (EF Education-Nippo) 144

    King of the Mountains

    1. Michael Storer (Team DSM) 59
    2. Romain Bardet (Team DSM) 54
    3. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 48

    What's next?

    Saturday's route is a monster. A 202.2km stage from Sanxenxo to Mos. Castro de Herville takes in five short but difficult climbs after a relatively flat start.

     

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