Tadej Pogacar Wins COVID-defying Tour de France

Tadej Pogacar Wins COVID-defying Tour de France

The last stage in Paris as it was expected ended with a bunch sprint, won by the green jersey Sam Bennett, who outsprinted Mads Pedersen and Peter Sagan.

Roglic, who has been in control of the race with his all-powerful team in support, cracked in the closing miles and now trails Pogacar by almost a minute with only the final processional stage in Paris to come, where tradition dictates no attempts are made to overhaul the yellow jersey holder.

As the Tour scaled all five of France's mountain ranges and chewed through more than 3,400 kilometers (2,100 miles) of French roads, the only COVID-19 positives touched a handful of team employees and the race director, even as infection numbers soared across the country.

'I can't tell you how excited I am, ' said Bennett. It left the start town of Nice on the Mediterranean three weeks ago unsure that it would be able to negotiate unscathed through the epidemic to Sunday's finish on Paris' tree-lined Champs-Elysees boulevard.

He also became just the fifth rider in cycling history to enter the final stage of the tour wearing green and win it.

'And to do it too with my dream team, Deceuninck-QuickStep - the way the boys rode all day was fantastic.

"I just obviously didn't push enough", he said.

Primož Roglič saw his race lead evaporate on the individual time trial
Primož Roglič saw his race lead evaporate on the individual time trial

The UAE Team Emirates rider had cut Roglič's lead to mere seconds prior to the La Planche des Belles Filles on stage 20, with both riders opting to change from time trial to traditional bikes for the climb.

The Irishman has a lead of 55 points over Peter Sagan - victor of the green jersey a record seven times - and could have the classification wrapped up by the intermediate sprint on the run in to Paris, which would leave him free to concentrate on a potential stage win on the Champs-Elysees.

The Tour will forever be remembered for a dramatic last-gasp turnaround as Pogacar grabbed the overall lead when his rival Roglic suffered a mountainside meltdown on the penultimate day. I didn't know that I had won the jersey until after he had crossed the line. Pogacar, speaking afterwards, said: 'I feel for him'. And he'll become the second-youngest victor ever of the 117-year-old race, behind only Henri Cornet, who was just shy of 20 when he was crowned in 1904.

"It's unbelievable - really insane", Pogačar said.

"Today was really special moment with my teammates". I dreamed of winning this Tour since I was a boy and now it has come true.

Dutch team Jumbo-Visma dominated the 2020 race with their yellow and black jerseys always grouped at the head of the race as they outpowered everyone until the last and crucial day.

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