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Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) saved his final blast for the closing 100 meters and won his third stage of this year’s Tour de France at the summit of Peyragudes. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) could not match the acceleration and finished on his opponent’s wheel for second.
Pogačar’s teammate Brendan McNulty took third on stage 17. His searing pace ripped the peloton to shreds after the penultimate climb of Val Louron-Azet.
The Pyrenean showdown came down to the UAE Team Emirates duo versus Jumbo-Visma’s GC leader. The only hesitation from Vingegaard came in the sprint to the line, as he could not move around his rival. Vingegaard held tight to his race lead and only lost a few seconds to his main challenger, Pogačar now 2:18 back.
Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) held his composure on stage 17, finishing fourth, and held to third overall, now 4:56 behind the leader.
Romain Bardet (Team DSM) looked to suffer on the climb but managed to trail only four seconds behind fifth-placed Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Qazaqstan) on the summit finish, and with his ride, Bardet moved from ninth on GC to sixth overall, 9 :21 back. Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic) and David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) finished the stage in the top 10 to retain fourth and fifth, respectively, on GC. Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers) slipped three spots in the overall standings, now ninth, and teammate Tom Pidcock plummeted from the top 10.
After the leaders crossed the finish line, more than 125 riders were strewn across the 11km climb of the fourth mountain of the day, looking to beat the time limit of approximately 37 minutes from Pogačar’s winning time.
“To take the stage win is already incredible. We can all be proud because without Rafal, George and Soler we cannot try more,” Pogačar said at the finish about riding with only three teammates on stage 17. “For now I’m happy that I won today. Tomorrow is another day which I’m looking forward to.
“I gave really absolutely everything. I know that I need to win, there’s no other way. I gave it all for the team to the line. I was so happy. Not only Brandon, also Mikkel and Hirschi. Mikkel rode like a climber today. He set such a good pace on the climbs, it was unbelievable. I felt so good with that pace, I felt confident and I know he felt confident too. Brandon did an amazing job, he was so good today – he’s been good all Tour but a special mention goes to him.”
More to come!
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