Slovenian takes early lead of Le Tour.
After yesterday’s stage characterized by many cobbled sections, the Tour de France today brought the riders to the Ardennes, with 219.9km from Blinche to Longwy.
The break of the day featured maillot jaune Wout Van Aert, who was brought back with 15km to go as the the teams lifted the pace in the peloton.
In a classic finish of the Ardennes, the riders tackled the Cote Montingny sur Chiers in quick succession, 1.6 kilometers at 4.4%, then Cote de Pulventeux, 800 meters at 12.3% which crested at five to the finish, and finally the Cote Religieuses, 1.6 kilometers at 5.8%.
UAE Team Emirates moved well with Majka and McNulty accompanying Pogačar on all bumps, allowing the young Slovenian to first neutralise Vuillermoz’s attack, and finally to unleash a turn of speed in the last 500 meters atop on his Colnago bike fully equipped Campagnolo.
Pogačar: “Winning here at Le Tour is more beautiful every time. Today was really tough from the start, with strong riders making moves and the whole group always pushing to reduce the gap. I didn’t even know if we were going to make it in the end but, with the great team work, we managed to get to the front and I was well escorted to the top positions right in the final. After the fatigue of the last few climbs it was really hard to overtake everyone at speed, but obviously I had good legs. I am super happy with this victory and to be able to wear the Yellow Jersey. ”
With today’s stage success, the leader of UAE Team Emirates also takes the Yellow Jersey, which he will wear tomorrow on the first real day dedicated to climbers.
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