Dubai: UAE Team Emirates rider Tadej Pogacar displayed his class with a second place on the podium at the end of Stage Four of the Tour de France, late on Tuesday.
The 21-year-old Slovenian finished alongside countryman Primoz Roglic from Team Jumbo-Visma to emerge as a clear podium favourite for the three-week major.
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Pogacar matched the pace of the world’s strongest riders while following world No. 1 Roglic on a brutal uphill sprint in the final 150 metres of the climb to the line to take a well-earned second place leaving Guillaume Martin of Cofidis in third as 16 riders finished in the front group on the Tour’s first summit finale.
Overall leader Julian Alaphilippe of Deceuninck-QuickStep took fifth on the stage and held on to his yellow jersey, with Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) still second, at four seconds, and Roglic at third, now at seven seconds and Pogacar in fourth 11 seconds away.
Stage Four will be one to remember for Pogacar as he earned himself the coveted white jersey awarded to the fastest young rider which he will wear with pride in Wednesday’s dangerous Stage Five.
“To wear the white jersey in the Tour is a really nice moment. I wasn’t sure after I crossed the line if I had taken it or not,” Pogacar said.
“Wearing the white in the Vuelta was special but this is even more so. The stage was not so hard, but the final part was full gas. Primoz was a bit faster than me in the final, but I’m happy with my result. The team is good — [David] De La Cruz is still recovering from his crash but he’s getting better. The motivation is really high in the group.”
Stage Four Results
1. Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma) 4h07’47”
2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates), same time
3. Guillaume Martin (Cofidis), same time
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quickstep) 18h07’04”
2. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) +4s
3. Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma) +7s
4. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +11s