Inaccessible Pogacar

Doubts haunt the Tour leader for his superiority, while rivals surrender. The second week will offer the Ventoux and the Pyrenees.


The rest days of the big ones in pandemic mean PCR test. In the past, in those of the Tour, positive reports were reported (not exactly COVID) and there was speculation about unusual performances. Tadej Pogacar's overwhelming dominance has gotten that buzz back. In the 12-minute press conference of the Slovenian with the international media, the questions were selected. One was direct: "What would you say to those who suspect you?" The answer: “That on Sunday they controlled me three times. I simply want to show what I am capable of ”. The yellow jersey leads the race with 2:01 over Ben O'Connor (thanks to his escape at Tignes) and the third, Rigoberto Urán, is more than five minutes away: 5: 18.

Thomas de Gendt, a classic of the peloton, pointed out that on the eighth day he made one of the best ten-minute efforts of his life: “Normally, with those values, I can blow up the group. Here I was 100 meters behind 70 cyclists ”. Pogacar sticks to the watts to explain that his performance hardly differs from that of 2020, when he conquered his first Tour: “I move in the same numbers and I did not suffer any mishap in the initial nine stages. Maybe my rivals feel more punished. ”

Those adversaries assume the superiority of the leader. Urán: "If it starts, you just have to watch from afar." Richard Carapaz: "He seems to be playing with us." More: "It is inaccessible right now." Although they do not want to give up the title for lost, they know that except for an accident they will fight for the postometer ... with a surprise guest: O'Connor. "I will try to hold onto the positions of honor until Paris," confirms the Australian. 3:32 separate him from Jonas Vingegaard, fourth classified and leader of the Jumbo after the goodbye of Primoz Roglic.

Other runners who are no longer opting for the general classification clarified their future on the rest day. While Geraint Thomas assured that he does not withdraw and will try to support Carapaz in the fight for the Paris box, for Vincenzo Nibali there is a single week of competition left before leaving and fine-tuning his preparation for the Games. 28th and 29th, two Tour champions in low hours. Like Chris Froome, at 1h 47:31 from Pogacar. The double ascent of Mont Ventoux and the Pyrenees will determine in the next six days how far the authority of the yellow reaches.

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