Slovenia Day: Pogacar wins stage and Roglic is already leader

Hirschi, the hero of the day, succumbed in the last blow to the kidney. Landa entered the front quintet and climbed to tenth place, 1:42 behind the new yellow jersey.


The story of the ninth stage, second of the Pyrenees, is the narration of a fallen hero and two Slovenian tyrants. The story of Marc Hirschi, U23 world champion in 2017, who rode a hundred kilometers alone, but could not successfully finish the gallop in Laruns because other interests crossed his path, those of those who fight for him Tour. The Swiss fought for the win until the last stroke of the kidney, but ran into the celebration of the Slovenian National Day. Tadej Pogacar, the contender, the biggest attacker in this Tour de France, won, and Primoz Roglic, second, finally donned the yellow jersey. Egan Bernal, who supports the guy, and Mikel Landa, who curses his losses on Friday's fan with each pedal stroke.

The stage lasted out, relentlessly, with multiple escape attempts that did not obtain the approval of the peloton. This is how they rode for over 60 kilometers, at a cosmic average of 48.2 km / h in the first hour of the race. It was not until the ascent to Hourcère that the break occurred, more because of the selection of the port itself, 11.1 km at 8.8%, and because of the quality of the escapees, than because of the approval of the yellow roller. The Jumbo allowed few alegrías. Only Marc Hirschi held the pulse of the group. The Swiss had already shown his class in the second stage, when he responded to Alaphilippe's attack, and this Sunday he set a spectacular solo time trial on the Pyrenean route. Brutal.

Thibaut Pinot, sunk the day before, was involved in those last cannon shots in the first-class port. A lesson in pride. But his body is not for parties and he had to give up. The image of an off-the-hook Tour hopeful, a man who has been a podium in Paris, no longer with companions around him, perfectly defined the cyclist's loneliness. Just like the moving image of Fabio Aru, winner of the Tour of Spain, one of the few active riders who has worn the leader's jersey of the Big Three. The Sardo lagged behind in the first sets of the day, when the powder keg started, and rolled for many kilometers with the broom car on the neck, until, with 80 remaining, he decided to put an end to the suffering.

While both were grinding, and Hirschi was exhibiting, the roosters were reserved for the Marie Blanque, the hot spot of the stage, 7.7 km at 8.6%, the ramps of the Bearded Vulture and so many legendary chapters of the Tour. The Jumbo kept the ship at full stern, until Pogacar launched an announced attack. The Slovenian had been the strongest in the first Pyrenees fireworks and wanted to make the most of his optimal pedaling in this second. His compatriot Roglic jumped at Pogacar's wheel, very attentive and knowledgeable about who the main enemies are. Together with both: Bernal, Landa and Porte, who later got off the hook on the descent. A quintet formed by the two great favorites in the initial bets and by the three runners who were shipwrecked on Friday in a fan. How the wind hurts!

Roglic sprinted at the top, with the idea of diving into the descent, but he did the sharpening with Pogacar, who kept his balance as a miracle, and between the shock and the apologies, he slowed down the initiative. The descent was a frenetic chrono. Hirschi, dying, to squeeze his small advantage in search of glory in Laruns. Pure anguish. Pogacar, Roglic, Landa and Bernal, to distance other rivals from the general. Bardet, Quintana, Mollema, Martin, Porte and Urán, to maintain their options for the future. Good cycling.

Hirschi was left to fate. The quartet was going to get him. And he preferred to let himself be hunted, save a bit for a final effort, for a sprint in the Pyrenees. He put on last, started from behind… And there was a moment when he seemed successful, but today he was playing the story of a downcast hero and a Slovenian festival. Pogacar won the stage and Roglic, second, donned the yellow jersey. He was already a leader in the shadows, now he also has the garment. Landa crossed fifth. It is strong. It's already tenth, at 1:42. Damn fans. The pursuers came within eleven seconds. The equality continues, with the top eight overall in one minute. This Monday it is time to rest, with a threat as worrying as the large ports, the PCR detection of the coronavirus. It has been three consecutive days of spectacle at the highest level. Let it arrive on Tuesday.

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