Overall chief Tadej Pogacar once more proved his dominance on the Tour de France as he gained a second consecutive mountain stage within the Pyrenees on Thursday and stated “it’s a game for me.”
On a brief ultimate mountain stage of 130km, Pogacar out-ran his two closest rivals, Jonas Vingegaard and Richard Carapaz, simply as he did on the day gone by.
The 2020 champion continued essentially the most dominant run in current Tour reminiscence, by climbing on to the post-race podium 4 occasions — as stage winner, as finest younger rider, finest climber and because the runaway total chief.
The peloton left Pau below a shadow Thursday after an in a single day anti-doping raid on the Bahrain-Victorious group at their resort.
“It’s something strange, maybe just one more control to see nobody’s hiding anything,” stated Pogacar of UAE.
“We only found out in the morning, I don’t know what to think,” he stated of the raid.
But by the point an Ineos quartet had been main the remnants of the pack up the ultimate climb of this Tour de France, nonetheless, the main target was on the attainable challenges to the chief on the highway.
“It was full gas racing today, Ineos were pressing from deep,” the chief stated of what was possible Carapaz’s final likelihood to unseat him.
“We had nothing to lose today, so we are happy,” stated the Ecuadorian.
“Our goal was to win the stage, I think we put up a good fight.”
With 3km left Pogacar, Vingegaard and Carapaz had been left to cross swords in a pulsating uphill battle to a end line above the clouds on the ski resort of Luz Ardiden with a whole bunch of 1000’s of followers alongside the roadside and cycling-loving French President Emmanuel Macron within the director’s automotive on the head of the motion.
The wrestle was rapidly settled.
Pogacar raced forward with ease over the past kilometre and slowed down to have a look over his shoulder as he crossed the road for his third stage win on this version.
“I felt good and I’m really happy with the win. It’s a game for me, I’m enjoying playing it,” stated the 22-year-old who has dominated within the mountains and on the all-important time-trials, simply as Spaniard Alberto Contador and Briton Chris Froome did of their time.
– Pogacar having fun with a brand new period –
But Pogacar was adamant he was not on the cusp of greatness.
“This is not the ‘Pogacar era’, but for sure a new generation is here,” he stated.
“It’s important to have fun and enjoy what you are doing. Some you win, some you lose but always have fun, my coach says,” Pogacar stated smiling and looking out relaxed.
“Tomorrow I aim to enjoy every minute of the flat run,” he stated of Friday’s stage.
He did admit worries concerning the ultimate problem, a 30km time-trial.
“You can lose six minutes over 30km like that,” he stated.
Pogacar pulverised the opposition on the primary time-trial which he gained on stage 5.
Pogacar leads the Dane Vingegaard by nearly six minutes with Carapaz proper on the Jumbo man’s tail in third with three phases left, a flat run Friday, Saturday’s time-trial and Sunday’s parade into Paris.
Vingegaard is on paper a greater time-trialist than Carapaz, however with only some seconds between the pair it’s too early to name a prime three.
Whatever occurs in Paris, the occasions in Pau on Thursday might take longer to run their course, after French police stated the investigation was in its preliminary phases.
“A preliminary inquiry has been opened to see if there has been, or not, acquisition, transport or possession of banned substances,” the Marseille-based police unit overseeing the matter advised AFP.