Thu, 29 Oct 2020

Struggle for Tour de France victory enters end game

News24
18 Sep 2020, 17:42 GMT+10

With three days of action still to unfold on the world's greatest cycling race ample opportunity remains for the fabled yellow, green, white and polka dot jerseys to be won or lost in the fascinating multi-faceted 21-stage contest.

Topping the bill are two Slovenians,

Pogacar, 21, has lit up the Tour on his own, constantly attacking his 30-year-old rival Roglic, whom he trails by just 57 seconds with a complicated 36km time-trial on the penultimate day a perfect platform to launch a devastating attack.

"I can't wait," said Pogacar, who beat Roglic by nine seconds on a similar, but much shorter route as the two went head to head in their national time-trial recently.

If Roglic has a weakness it is isolation.

His judgement appears lessened without his yellow and black clad Jumbo teammates around him.

So this individual event may see David slay Goliath on Saturday in a contest that has implications for the polka dot jersey too as the young Pogacar is in second spot.

After a 30km rolling run where the riders set off down a ramp at intervals, the time-trial then tackles the 6km slopes of the popular Planche des Belles Filles just over the border from Germany and Switzerland.

This relatively new feature of the Tour is a Category 1 mountain, where the majority of the remaining climb points now reside.

Over the past three days Richard Carapaz has attacked through three Alpine stages and holds of the polka dot.

"It looks complicated, but we'll see what we can do," said the Ecuadorian Carapaz who has to be considered due to his 2019 Giro d'Italia victory.

He has 74 points, Pogacar 72 and Roglic 67.

This 6km ascent to 'La Planche' however will be timed on its own, while the Slovenians will have to concentrate on the full 36km time-trial time in their yellow jersey fight.

Carapaz can save his legs in the first part of the effort.

In his first Tour Pogacar sits 3 minutes and 22sec ahead of his closes contender in Movistar's Enric Mas for the under-25s prize.

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