Slovenian makes stinging attack 30.5km from the finish
With a masterpiece of class and courage ,Tadej Pogačar jumped to the top of the general classification of the Grande Boucle.
The new Maillot Jaune took flight on the penultimate climb on the 8th stage of the Tour de France (Oyonnax-Le Grand Bornand, 150.8 km in the Alps.
The UAE Team Emirates leader began his attack 30.5km from the finish, with 2km to go before the top of the Col de Romme ascent (8.8km at 8.9% ): in the rain, after some excellent preparation work by his teammates. Pogačar made his move from the group with only Richard Carapaz (Ineos-Grenadiers) able to follow; with the 22-year old dislodging him further up the climb.
Pogačar continued his strong pace up the Col de la Colombière (7.5 km at 8.4%, brow at 14.5 km from the finish), to pick-off all the members of the days breakaway except Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Victorious), the eventual stage winner.
The reigning Tour de France champion finished the stage in 4th place (behind Ion Izagirre, 2nd and Michael Woods, 3rd), with an advantage over his direct rivals in the general classification wide enough to allow him to take the yellow jersey.
The general ranking sees Pogačar move up to first position with an advantage of 1’48 “over Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and of 4’38” over Alexey Lutsenko (Astana-Premier Tech).
Tadej Pogačar: “This morning it wasn’t the plan to attack. I had planned to see how the stage would develop, and then decide how to move. The race proved to be very tough from the start, with cyclists attacking from all sides, but I was fine and I was able to benefit from the rainy conditions that I like: so I decided that I would attack and so, when there were still three climbs left, I asked the team to work at the front to set up my attack.
I started very far from the finish line because I saw that all the opponents were in trouble, both because of the excellent work done by McNulty, Formolo and the rest of my team, and because of the cold weather so I thought it was a good time to go.
Today’s result makes me happy, even more when I think back to the work my team did in yesterday’s stage.
Now we are in the yellow and day after day we will show that we are ready to defend the leadership, because we are a very strong team ”.
Tomorrow the riders will take on the first summit finish: 144.9 km starting from Cluses and arriving in Tignes, finishing on the final ascent of the Montée de Tignes (1st category).
Tadej Pogačar will be at the start wearing the yellow jersey, becoming the youngest ever rider to wear the yellow jersey in two consecutive editions.
Stage 8 results
1. Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Victorious) 3h54’41 ”
2. Ion Izagirre (Astana-Premier Tech) +44 ”
3. Michael Woods (Israel StartUp Nation) +47 ”
4. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) +49 “
General classification after the 8th stage
1. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) 29h38’25 “
2. Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) + 1’48 ”
3. Alexey Lutsenko (Astana-Premier Tech) 4’38 “