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Pogacar Attacks Tour Leader on Iconic Climb, to No Avail

Pogacar Attacks Tour Leader on Iconic Climb, to No Avail

Tadej Pogacar was unable to separate himself from the race leader, Jonas Vingegaard, on Thursday’s grueling ascent to Alpe d’Huez.Credit…Bernard Papon/Agence France-Presse, via Pool/Afp Via…

Thursday, Jul 14

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Tadej Pogacar was unable to separate himself from the race leader, Jonas Vingegaard, on Thursday’s grueling ascent to Alpe d’Huez.Credit…Bernard Papon/Agence France-Presse, via Pool/Afp Via Getty Images Tadej Pogacar held his fire on the Galibier. He waited through the Croix de Fer. He sat tight during the 60-mile-an-hour descents after those brutal climbs. For more than four and a half hours, he did not make a move.

Instead, Pocagar, the two-time defending champion at the Tour de France, saved his bid to reclaim the yellow jersey for the end of Thursday’s 12th stage: the 21 hairpin turns of the most revered climb in cycling, to the top of Alpe d’Huez.

His only problem was that the race leader, Jonas Vingegaard, and his Jumbo-Visma team had other ideas.

First, Jumbo-Visma’s Wout van Aert, wearing the green jersey of the race’s top sprinter, led the main pack at a blistering pace, making any potential attack difficult for Pogacar. Then, he peeled off, exhausted, and his teammate Primoz Roglic took over. Then, it was the American Sepp Kuss’s turn. Outnumbered and outmanned, Pogacar couldn’t act.

And when he finally attacked, through the corridor of noise that leads the field to the mountaintop finish, Vingegaard, who had been protected all day by his teammates, matched his move. A second attack, just before the finish, ended quickly the same way.

In a final sprint over the last 100 meters, Pogacar managed to finish ahead of Vingegaard, but he gained no time. With the Alps portion of this year’s race […]

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