Tadej Pogacar cuts into Jonas Vingegaard’s lead at Tour de France
Tadej Pogacar cut another eight seconds of Jonas Vingegaard’s lead at the Tour de France and is now 17 seconds behind going into the Tour’s first rest day.
In the ninth stage of 21, Canadian Michael Woods, 36, caught and passed American Matteo Jorgenson in the last kilometer up the beyond-category Puy de Dôme climb. He became the oldest stage winner since Kazakh Alexandre Vinokourov in 2010, according to ProCyclingStats.com.
Jorgenson, 24, had been the solo leader for nearly 30 miles. He nearly became the first American to win a Tour summit finish stage since George Hincapie in 2005 and the youngest American to win a Tour stage since Lance Armstrong in 1995. He ended up fourth on the day.
“Super disappointing,” Jorgenson said. “I played my cards. I think I did the best race I could. ... I came to this Tour with some doubts surrounding my form and my legs. I had a big spring. I was surprised, pleasantly surprised with how much I had in the tank.”
Behind him, the last two Tour winners and favorites to vie for this year’s title again dueled. Pogacar and Vingegaard attacked from their five-man group with about a mile left, and then the Slovenian Pogacar gapped Vingegaard to gain time on the Dane for the second time in as many mountain stages.
“It’s not a [stage] victory, but it’s a small victory,” Pogacar said. “When I start with an attack, I watched the shadow of [Vingegaard] and I could see that he’s sprinting full gas behind me. I feel my legs are good. I push more. The gap opened.”
Vingegaard’s lead over Pogacar, which was as much as 53 seconds after the fifth stage, is now 17 seconds.
The Tour takes a rest day Monday followed Tuesday by the hilliest stage with five categorized climbs, the toughest being a category two.
“I think I didn’t have my best day today,” Vinegaard said. “Maybe the rest day will do me well.
“I guess it will be quite a battle the next two weeks.”