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Sport

Pogacar claims Tour lead while Vingegaard shows great form

todayJuly 1, 2024 6

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Tadej Pogacar claimed the Tour de France overall lead with a late attack in Sunday’s second stage, though the Slovenian may have been surprised by how easily defending champion Jonas Vingegaard followed him despite his recent lack of racing.

While the 2020 and 2021 Tour winner’s lightning attack on the ascent of San Luca left fellow favourites Primoz Roglic and Remco Evenepoel seemingly glued to the road, Vingegaard had no trouble keeping up despite not competing since he sustained a collapsed lung in a crash almost three months ago.

“Jonas was on my wheel, we can see he’s already in great shape. It’s going to be very interesting,” said Pogacar, who is looking to become the first rider to win the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France in the same year since the late Marco Pantani in 1998.

While Pogacar will be hoping not to fade over the three weeks of the race after riding the Giro in May, Vingegaard is looking to improve and keep some freshness for the final week.

Tour debutant Kevin Vauquelin was the second French winner in the first two days after being the best of the breakaway in the ascent to San Luca (1.9km at 10.6 per cent) as he gave his Arkea-B&B Hotels team their first win in the race.

Romain Bardet, who started the day in the leader’s yellow jersey, finished 21 seconds behind Pogacar to lose the overall lead by six seconds while Evenepoel eventually managed to bridge the gap with Vingegaard and his rival.

“There was a little gap in the middle of the climb and I was not well positioned, my bad, ” said Evenepoel, who had Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz in his slipstream as he battled back to avoid any losses.

DEAFENING ATMOSPHERE

Overall, Pogacar leads Belgian Evenepoel and Vingegaard of Denmark, who are second and third, respectively, on added places with no time difference. Roglic is now 21 seconds down on Pogacar.

Eleven riders broke away early but none of them posed a threat to Bardet’s yellow jersey.

They opened a 10-minute gap and it became obvious quickly that they would battle it out for the stage win despite a late acceleration from the peloton.

In the leading group, Frenchmen Jordan Jegat and Axel Laurance attacked on the San Luca climb in a stadium-like, deafening atmosphere.

It was the first of two ascents to San Luca up alongside the Portico which features 666 arches.

Vauquelin, Norwegian Jonas Abrahamsen and Nelson Oliveira of Portugal broke free in the flat part leading to the bottom of San Luca.

The Frenchman then upped the pace right away and did not look back. Abrahamsen took second place with another Frenchman, Quentin Pacher, finishing third.

“I’ve had so many tough times, in training, at the Tour de Suisse, at the French championships, and yesterday I got dropped, I was a bit at the end of my tether,” Vauquelin said.

“But I had a sense of revenge and I knew the wheel was going to turn. I turned quickly.”

Monday’s third stage, a 230.8-km ride between Piacenza and Turin, is expected to favour the sprint specialists.

STAGE TWO RESULTS

  1. Kévin Vauquelin (FRA)        Arkéa – B&B Hotels             4:43:42
  2. Jonas Abrahamsen (NOR)       Uno-X Mobility                     +36
  3. Quentin Pacher (FRA)         Groupama – FDJ                     +49
  4. Cristián Rodríguez (ESP)     Arkéa – B&B Hotels                   “
  5. Harold Tejada (COL)          Astana – Qazaqstan Team              “
  6. Nélson Oliveira (POR)        Movistar Team                      +50
  7. Axel Laurance (FRA)          Alpecin – Deceuninck             +1:12
  8. Mike Teunissen (NED)         Intermarché – Wanty              +1:33
  9. Hugo Houle (CAN)             Israel – Premier Tech            +1:36
  10. Richard Carapaz (ECU)       EF Education – EasyPost          +2:21
  11. Jordan Jegat (FRA)          TotalEnergies                        “
  12. Remco Evenepoel (BEL)       Soudal – Quick-Step                  “
  13. Jonas Vingegaard (DEN)      Team Visma – Lease a Bike            “
  14. Tadej Pogacar (SLO)         UAE Team Emirates                    “
  15. Giulio Ciccone (ITA)        Lidl – Trek                      +2:42
  16. Romain Grégoire (FRA)       Groupama – FDJ                       “
  17. Felix Gall (AUT)            Decathlon – AG2R – La Mondiale Team               “
  18. Maxim Van Gils (BEL)        Lotto – Dstny                        “
  19. Carlos Rodríguez (ESP)      INEOS Grenadiers                     “
  20. Enric Mas (ESP)             Movistar Team                        “

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION

  1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO)          UAE Team Emirates              9:53:30
  2. Remco Evenepoel (BEL)        Soudal – Quick-Step                  “
  3. Jonas Vingegaard (DEN)       Team Visma – Lease a Bike            “
  4. Richard Carapaz (ECU)        EF Education – EasyPost              “
  5. Romain Bardet (FRA)          Team dsm-firmenich – PostNL               +6
  6. Maxim Van Gils (BEL)         Lotto – Dstny                      +21
  7. Egan Bernal (COL)            INEOS Grenadiers                     “
  8. Pello Bilbao (ESP)           Bahrain Victorious                   “
  9. Tom Pidcock (GBR)            INEOS Grenadiers                     “
  10. Giulio Ciccone (ITA)        Lidl – Trek                          “
  11. Enric Mas (ESP)             Movistar Team                        “
  12. Aleksandr Vlasov ()         Red Bull – BORA -hansgrohe                    “
  13. Carlos Rodríguez (ESP)      INEOS Grenadiers                     “
  14. Matteo Jorgenson (USA)      Team Visma – Lease a Bike            “
  15. Jai Hindley (AUS)           Red Bull – BORA -hansgrohe                 “
  16. Guillaume Martin (FRA)      Cofidis                              “
  17. Felix Gall (AUT)            Decathlon – AG2R – La Mondiale Team                “
  18. Juan Ayuso (ESP)            UAE Team Emirates                    “
  19. Primož Roglic (SLO)         Red Bull – BORA -hansgrohe                    “
  20. Simon Yates (GBR)           Team Jayco – AlUla

Written by: Staff Writer

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