Tour de France - Stage 18: Tadej Pogacar, depart or double at Hautacam
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Tour de France – Stage 18: Tadej Pogacar, depart or double at Hautacam

At Peyragudes, Tadej Pogacar played who loses. The 17th stage winner by beating Jonas Wenggaard on the last slope in the harbour, first thanks to the tremendous work of his teammates, Brandon McNulty in the lead, and then at his full speed, the Slovenian on the other hand did not fail to undo the yellow jersey. If his handicap goes from 22’22” to 2’18”, it’s only by bonuses at the finish line. But he will need more, much more, to stand a chance of winning a third straight round. But time is against him.

Thursday, at Hautacam, this 109th edition will put an end to the mountain. If Pogacar doesn’t reduce the gap significantly, it’s over. Admittedly, you should never say never, and if anyone proves he can turn the tables at the last trial, it’s him. But in 2020, he is just 57 seconds behind Primus Roglic ahead of the time of Planche des Belles Filles, well below the 138 that separates him today from Vingegaard. In short, for “Pogi,” she’s on Hautacam or never wanted to erase Granon’s stubborn roster, which he’s been cruising around like a job for a big week.

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Are you nominated for the stage or for the final victory on Wednesday?

Does he believe in it himself? Officially yes. “I’m still hopeful for the rest of the tour and for the victory, I’ve always been soWhether he’s really convinced of that or whether it’s a tedious application of the Coué method, it doesn’t matter. But the reality is there. Pogacar no longer has the choice and not with the rewards that he can hope to go (to re) look for the yellow jersey,” he said Wednesday at Peyragudes. On Wednesday, Brandon McNulty, despite his large number, served Jonas Vinggaard’s purposes almost as well as those of her captain.”I was thinking of attacking moreHe confessed, But it was still a good day, I did my best. “

We wouldn’t go so far as to say that the Dane was enjoying the wheel of the UAE, but in reality, he was never attacked or worried. Considering the final victory, not just today’s victory, the day was especially good for the tough guy at Jumbo Visma. Moreover, one might wonder whether Tadej Pogacar’s strategy and his absence from the gangs against the Scandinavian bull did not reveal a certain recognition of weakness. Didn’t he run to win the stage more than the yellow jersey?

Poujacar: “I wanted this stage and I’m optimistic about the yellow jersey”

Still calm, Jonas Vinggaard knows he passed an important new milestone on Wednesday, even if he said to himself,Disappointed at not being able to win“.”but todayhe added, The last slope was pretty explosive and suited Tadige a lot better than me. I wanted to take a longer tour. I didn’t have much to do and he deserved his victoryImmediately, he warns:Hautacam suits me betterMeanwhile, Pogacar for his part declared thatHautacam stage is more suitable for widening gaps. Tomorrow (Thursday) we will have another strategy. “

With “if”…

In short, dueling, against a background of alcohol, is also played by interlaced microphones. But we can change the problem in every way, we can see why and how the double title holder can succeed in the last fight at a height where he has always failed for eight days. On the slopes of the Alps, in Mendi, or in two stages of the Pyrenees, you have already tried almost everything. A sharp acceleration on the last climb, an attack from distance, a complete touchdown, or betting at a very high pace for his teammates. What would this famous be?Another strategyRaised it for Hautacam?

Vinggaard: “The final victory? I don’t want to think about it, three days were very difficult”

Tadej Pojjakar is strong, there’s no doubt about it, although it’s controversial that he’s as strong as last summer. His problem is that he is not stronger than Vingguard. But since he drank the cup and conceded the goal for three minutes on top of Granon, leveling with his opponent was no longer enough. “So far, Jonas has shown that he is very strong, and that he is unable to collapseadmits. But today, if we had our full team with Rafal Majka, Marc Soler, George Bennett, we would make the race harder and make Jonas collapse. We’ve had a lot of bad luck the past few days. If everything was fine, we would have the strongest team. But with ‘if’…

In Aubisque, Spandelles and then in Hautacam, there will be no excuses or “ifs”. Just a mission to get it done. Remove the hook, finally, and in an important way, the yellow plaster of Denmark. “There is still a chance to try again. We’ll see if he has a weakness“Nothing is as certain in life as what happened on the tour, but honestly, we wouldn’t put all of our savings into this scenario.

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