Dubai: UAE Team Emirates rider Tadej Pogacar has vouched to lay things bare after reclaiming the white jersey heading into the final week of the Tour de France.
On Friday, it was Primoz Roglic extending his lead in the yellow jersey after Daniel Martinez had claimed a superb win on Stage 13.
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Roglic and fellow Slovenian Pogacar dropped all of their rivals on a gruelling final climb to Puy Mary. With Pogacar showing character in pursuing his close friend and countryman all the way, it was defending champion Egan Bernal slipping to third overall. Roglic now leads Pogacar by 44 seconds.
There was plenty of drama in the front pack as EF Pro Cycling’s Martinez punched clear of Lennard Kamna in the final metres to take his first Tour stage victory.
Fellow Colombian Bernal, who had trailed Roglic by 21 seconds after Stage 12, struggled on the brutal summit finish and is now 59 seconds back on Roglic and 15 seconds down on Pogacar.
However, it was David De La Cruz who played the perfect foil for Pogacar as the Spanish rider entered a breakaway of 17 riders who led the race after forming 30km from the start. The group fought on the decisive final ascent of Pas de Peyrol with a large advantage over the yellow jersey peloton. It was then that Pogacar made his move just one kilometre from the finish and remain within striking distance of Roglic and in contention for at least a podium spot next Sunday.
“I’d like to thank the team for giving me great support during the stage. I’m so proud of my teammates,” the 21-year-old Pogacar said.
“It was a great day, and now I find myself in the White Jersey again. I am also happy to have reached the finish line with Roglic while pedalling uphill with Primoz reminded me of the sensations I experienced in last year’s Vuelta. It was an experience similar to that of the 13th stage of the Spanish race, when we arrived in Los Machucos. In the overall standings, I gained seconds on all the other riders, except Roglic, so I’m satisfied and the idea is to look ahead with hope.”
Saturday’s 14th stage — the Clermont Ferrand-Lyon over 194km — should favour the breakaway.
Stage 13 Results
1. Daniel Martinez (EF) 5:01:47
2. Lennard Kamna (Bora-Hansgrohe) +4s
3. Maximilian Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) +51s
1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 56:34.35
2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +44s
3. Egan Bernal (Ineos-Grenadier) +59s