Pogacar: "I'm a good boy, I don't take shortcuts"

Yellow returned to face the issues generated by its superiority at the break of the race. He is missing the Pyrenees and a chrono for his second title.


The 2021 Tour has only six days to complete, while its leader, Tadej Pogacar, dominates with more than five minutes of advantage (5:18) over the second, Rigoberto Urán. On the second rest day of the race, more doubts and more questions about the legitimacy of his performance, which the Slovenian cleared up between understanding and fussing: “Unfortunately, I know where our sport comes from. I know the problems that cycling suffered in the past with people imposing themselves on others with such authority. But I come from a good family, I am a good boy and not the type of person who takes shortcuts to achieve his goals. I undergo tests and there is nothing wrong. Although I accept the suspicions, I do not share them and I don't know what else to say. My values seem very similar to those of 2020 ”.

A Pogacar, defender of the title and the yellow jersey, does not like to talk about his superiority. Neither does his rivals, but they assume that he is "several levels far above", as they all agree. "Play with us". "We seem invisible to him." "He attacks us and lets go when he wants to." "It is inaccessible." The authorship of the phrases goes from the occupants of the virtual box, Urán and Vingegaard (third at 5:32), Carapaz (fourth at 5:33) and Mas (ninth at 7:11). Michael Woods, in the fight for the polka dot jersey, gets wetter: "I wish I could believe what I see, like any fan."

With Pogacar at such a considerable distance, the rest are satisfied with the postometer. A Mas separates 1:39 from the provisional podium. To trim, you must move. Like Carapaz, who wants and tries, although he does not get a reward. Urán is content to endure, as in 2017, and Vingegaard prefers not to lose his privileged position. Of course, there is plenty of ground to test. This Tuesday, four ports. On Wednesday, the Peyresourde, Val Louron-Azet and Portet. On Thursday, the Tourmalet and Luz Ardiden. And on Saturday, time of 30.8 km.

Others fight their own, more modest battles. For example, the national squad has not raised their arms since Omar Fraile did it in Mende, in the 2018 edition. Wout Poels, Woods and Nairo Quintana, three corredorazos, compete for the mountain jersey. And the bearer of the green, Mark Cavendish, fights the runaway every time the road gets steep. The Briton equaled Eddy Merckx's record for the most stages won on the Tour in Carcassonne, with 34. If he surpasses the Pyrenees, the points classification will be within their reach and in Libourne and in Paris they will wait for two occasions to break the record. In the hunt for his second Grande Boucle, Pogacar faces more doubts than his adversaries.

Photos from as.com
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