Slovenians took the laurels on the Tour de France on Sunday as rookie Tadej Pogacar gained a Pyrenean mountain slog and his compatriot Primoz Roglic grabbed the general lead. In a single day yellow chief Adam Yates of Britain made a valiant effort to maintain maintain of the yellow jersey however fell steadily away on the ultimate climb because the gradient hit 12 %. Pre-Tour contender Roglic has been the shape man this season and after Sunday’s second place end leads defending champion Ineos chief Egan Bernal by 21 seconds. “Everyone goals of carrying the yellow jersey at some point in his life so first off I am simply joyful how issues are,” stated Vuelta a Espana champion Roglic.
“It is a battle for each second now and much off issues will occur to every of us on the highway to Paris,” he stated.
When requested if he nervous that Bernal was beathing down his neck after Jumbo-Visma put the hammer down for 9 days, he shrugged.
“No-one might go as arduous as Egan did there on the final climb,” he stated.
“We will take pleasure in a effectively deserved relaxation day now,” he stated.
– We will obtain nice issues –
Pogacar stated he remembered little of the frantic dash that gave him a primary Tour stage win as he pipped Roglic and Swiss rider Marc Hirschi, who had set the tempo for a lot of the day, on the road.
“I needed to realize as a lot time as attainable,” stated Pogacar, who twice misplaced time earlier within the week, however is now inside 41 seconds of the lead.
“Ten seconds bonus for the stage win within the dash is nice however I do not know what occurred in it,” he stated.
The 21-year-old Pogacar had a message of comfort for his 30-year-old countryman Roglic.
“He is gained earlier than and he’ll win once more. He and I can obtain nice issues for Slovenia,” Pogacar stated.
French pair Guillaume Martin and Romain Bardet are third and fourth total with Colombian duo Nairo Quintana and Rigoberto Uran inside touching distance.
The 153km ninth stage set off from Pau within the south-west, and there have been many spectators in berets alongside the route, and took in 5 climbs together with two class 1 mountains.
The 2 Slovenians narrowly prevented catastrophe as they crossed the ultimate summit, Col de Marie Blanque, collectively.
Pogacar seemed spherical to see the place Bernal was, swerved and clipped Roglic. Each did effectively to remain within the saddle.
“I used to be careless, I believed I might gone previous everybody,” he defined.
“All of us labored collectively then to place time into the others behind us.”
“This can be a actually wonderful expertise,” stated Pogacar, who gained three phases on the Vuelta in 2019.
– ‘Troublesome phases forward’ –
Bernal has needed to race the primary week with out his key climb companion Pavel Sivakov who damage each elbows on the opening stage however the Colombian remained assured he can defend his title regardless of shedding time on Sunday.
“It is not simply concerning the time gained or the time misplaced,” he stated. “At this level within the race the sensation on the bike is vital. And right now I felt higher than the day earlier than”.
Bernal was solely dropped by the 2 Slovenians on the finish of the ascent of the Col de Marie-Blanque.
“I loved the final climbs quite a bit”, the Colombian. “In actuality, you possibly can’t make a lot distinction on an ascent like this. I do know I misplaced time once more in opposition to Roglic and Pogacar however I’ve to be affected person. There are nonetheless two weeks to go and there are some tough phases forward of us.”
The longer climbs awaiting the Tour within the latter phases ought to go well with the marginally constructed 23-year-old, who final yr solely took the yellow jersey on the 19th of the 21 phases.
Monday is the primary relaxation day however a nervous watch for outcomes of Covid-19 swab assessments awaits the riders with a ban on groups with two constructive instances.
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