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Sunday, September 25, 2022

Tour de France: Wingguard destroys Pogacar in alpine stage for history

On the alpine slopes, where the most beautiful cycling stories were written, the Tour experienced a day that would be hard to forget. A Wednesday in which the script of the impossible was completed, in which the king pogakar It was scattered as before. From smiling to fainting in Grenon, while the prince wingguard He cried, aware of the work he had just starred in.

Yellow jerseys await the Dane, a prize for one of the most exquisite choral exhibitions in memory, thanks to the generosity of capital lettering champion Primoz Rogi. It seemed that when Tadej Pogakar responded with suffocation for each paw of Jumbo Visma, light years from the finish line, first in the telegraph and later in the Galibier. But the Slovenians, the sins of youth, were anticipating their defeat in those arrogant, hot heads.

Aqab destroyed at Grennan, that bare and monstrous summit at about 2,500 metres, 2:52 behind the winning wingguard. He even surpassed Narrow, Bardet, Geraint Thomas, Goudou and Yates, whom he had previously managed to knock down with ease. With an open yellow jersey and a disgruntled gesture. Minutes ago, he gave the camera a wink, but faces don’t win, that’s strength, a waste of energy having lost half the team to Covid.

The Grande Bowl explodes in the air, as if dynamite has been injected into the suffering legs of cyclists. No conformity, it doesn’t matter if tomorrow’s queen stage is still ahead, with the finish in Alpe d’Huez, if the Pyrenees wait next week. Engaged in writing history based on courage. Jumbo tried it by all means and long ago. With a spectacular escape in which he had already infiltrated Van Aert and after crossing the beautiful Montvernier, it was in the telegraph where he transferred his chips in a melee worthy of the art of war. It was necessary to check whether the Slovenian god of cycling had any edge, dented his spirits or even his strength if the virus left him with a diminished team . And there Roglic and Vingegaard went like two titans.

Christian HartmannAFP

It was just the aperitif, after the brief landing towards Galibier, the fireworks. A well thought out trick. Roglic and VIngegaard tried to drop the leader on terrain that was not yet hard enough, so that the wear was high and it would not allow Pogakar to set a pace that would make them give up. Like the kamikaze in the Alps, the blink of an eye, however, was a reaction that elevates Tadej to the Olympus of cycling forever. That was just the beginning of his end.

In an amazing performance, the Slovenian came out every fast. Without a moment’s hesitation. Be sure of your strength. Starting in the Olympic city of Albertville, Pogacar had to tackle every single challenge he faced in the race. Like an alpine escape room. Decide in a thousand hours by heart and without defending comrades.

Once all ambushes were neutralized and a large group gathered, five ‘jumbo’ with his partner Mark Soler and one Enrique Maas, who never looked well and eight minutes and lost all their options – He moved fast. Above the Galibier and only the wingguard could follow his wheel. Neither Roslik, nor Geraint Thomas.

But where was Poggy going? The favorites met again, but all the previous ones were only epic prologues, battles that write the mystery of these summits. Col du Granon, about 10 kilometers away without a truce, remained in horror, where Eduardo Chozas capitalized his name in another display of courage. And that scenario is now forever, like the first day someone beat Pogakar.

It was strange when he didn’t even take a step to follow Bardet, now leaning on Majka. But everything was blown up with a 4.6-kilometer attack to go from the wingguards, who looked back and didn’t believe it: Pogakar was giving way. An absolute blast, though, make no mistake. The tour, which tours Alpe d’Huez on Thursdays (with Galibier and Croix de Fer before it), is livelier than ever. Tadej is third at 2:22.


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