Tadej Pogacar has become the first Slovenian to win the Tour de France as the prestigious three-week race concluded on Sunday at the Champs-Elysees in Paris.
Pogacar is the youngest winner since 1904 as he will celebrate his 22nd birthday on Monday after sealing his victory on the penultimate stage with a sensational result in the mountain time trial.
Until then, it seemed as if his compatriot and long-time leader Primoz Roglic had taken the yellow jersey. But in a surprising turnaround, Pogacar won the stage and won the game in 59 seconds.
By tradition, Sunday’s 21st stage is a ceremony affair. Moreover, there will be no efforts at breakaways until the eight final circuits around the French capital begin.
With his UAE Team Emirates teammates, Pogacar remained comfortably on his bike to cross the victory line.
Bennett usurped Slovakia’s Peter Sagan, a seven-time winner, to top the points classification. In fact, he did so in some style, relegating world champion Mads Pedersen to second place on the stage, with Sagan in third.’
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“I can’t tell you how excited I am,” Bennett said. “The green jersey and the Champs-Elysees, the world championships of sprinting. I never thought I’d be able to win this stage and to do it in green is so special.”
Triple for Pogacar
Not only did Pogacar win the yellow jersey, but he also sealed the polka dot King of the Mountains award. Moreover, he also claimed the best young rider category in his first attempt at the Tour.
With Australian veteran Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) taking the final spot on the podium, Roglic, who had led since the ninth stage with his solid Jumbo-Visma squad in support, had to settle for second overall.
Pogacar finding his unforeseen victory hard to deal with, recovering from missing more than a minute in crosswinds on the seventh stage to work his way back into the race and eventually claimed yellow.
“This is unbelievable, standing here in Paris on the top level of the podium,” he stated.
“I never thought I’d be here. It’s been a great three-week experience. I can’t explain how I feel right now.”
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