Tadej Pogacar extended his overall Tour de France lead as he won stage seven on Friday, a 176.3km ride between Tomblaine and the top of the Super Planche des Belles Filles.
The two-time defending champion of Slovenia overtook last year’s runner-up Jonas Vingegaard of Denmark at the end of a grueling climb, with gradients in excess of 20%, over a final kilometer of dusty roads.
Primoz Roglic, the 2020 runner-up, finished third, 12 seconds back.
Overall, Pogacar leads Vingegaard by 35 seconds, while Britain’s Geraint Thomas sits in third, a minute and 10 seconds off the pace.
The breakaway of the day, taking shape after a super-fast start, featured former Tour stage winners Lennard Kaemna, Simon Geschke and Dylan Teuns, building a lead of almost three minutes.
Bora-Hansgrohe riders Kaemna and Geschke jumped away from the group at the foot of the final climb and the former went solo with 4.8km to go in front while the group of favorites followed a minute behind.
Russia’s Alexandr Vlasov, one of the riders set to make the podium in Paris, was dropped with 4km to go, losing 1:39.
Germany’s Kaemna still held a 40-second lead in the final kilometer when Pogacar decided to take matters into their own hands.
The 23-year-old’s acceleration made his rivals gasp, but Vingegaard managed to take over his wheel and countered after the duo caught up with Kaemna with less than 100 meters to go.
The Dane had a couple of bike lengths on Pogacar and looked set for victory as the UAE rider put in a final burst of speed to lap Vingegaard and take his second stage win in two days.
Kaemna was fourth while Thomas was fifth, both crossing the finish line 14 seconds behind the Yellow Bib wearer.
France’s David Gaudu was sixth, 19 seconds back, moving up to fifth overall, 1:31 off the pace and 13 seconds behind Britain’s Adam Yates, who is fourth.
https://www.independent.ie/sport/other-sports/cycling/tadej-pogacar-wins-seventh-stage-to-extend-overall-tour-de-france-lead-41825578.html Tadej Pogacar wins stage seven and extends overall Tour de France lead