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Chasing Precious Seconds, Pogacar Holds Tight to Tour de France Lead

Chasing Precious Seconds, Pogacar Holds Tight to Tour de France Lead

Tadej Pogacar sprinted to the finish, eager to pick up even a few seconds on his main rival.Credit…Christian Hartmann/Reuters His lead sits at only 11…

Tuesday, Jul 12

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Tadej Pogacar sprinted to the finish, eager to pick up even a few seconds on his main rival.Credit…Christian Hartmann/Reuters His lead sits at only 11 seconds after a dramatic finish Tuesday, but the two-time defending champion, Tadej Pogacar, seems to have taken control of the Tour de France and is starting to squeeze his competitors out of the race.

With 10 of 21 stages complete, Pogacar, of Slovenia, has already left a prime prerace favorite, his countryman Primoz Roglic, far behind, nearly three minutes back in 13th place. At the moment, only the Danish rider Jonas Vingegaard, who sits in third place, 39 seconds behind, seemingly still has a realistic shot to beat Pogacar. The next two riders in the overall standings, Britain’s Geraint Thomas and Adam Yates, are now more than a minute behind the leader.

Even the rider in second place, Lennard Kämna of Germany, feels more like an outlier than a true challenger for the leader’s yellow jersey; Kämna holds his current position only because he picked up more than eight and a half minutes on the leader by being part of a breakaway group of long shots that included the winner of Tuesday’s stage, Denmark’s Magnus Cort. Almost no one is expecting Kämna to hang around long at the top.

Now with two of the toughest stages of the race looming, including the spectacular climb up the switchbacks of L’Alpe d’Huez on Wednesday, Pogacar has a chance to put a hammerlock on the race with 10 days to […]

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