Pogačar fails to defend Tour de France title, finishes second

Paris – Slovenia’s cycling star Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) has failed to defend his 2021 Tour de France title as he finished second in the 2022 edition of the most prestigious Grand Tour on Sunday. He bagged the white jersey as the best young rider for the third time in a row though. The title went to Denmark’s Jonas Vingegaard (Team Jumbo-Visma).

The outcome of the 109th Tour de France was clear even before today’s final stage that wrapped up, as tradition dictates, in Paris.

After two years of Pogačar’s reign Vingegaard has taken over now. The Dane stripped Pogačar of the yellow jersey of the overall leader on the mountain stage eleven and then managed to hold onto it until the very end of the race.

The gap between Pogačar and Vingegaard was two minutes and 43 seconds in the end after the riders arrived in Paris to finish the 116km final stage, where the Slovenian placed 20th.

The British rider Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) was in third place overall, clocking in four minutes and 39 seconds after Pogačar.

In addition to the overall win, Team Jumbo-Visma also took the green jersey of the best sprinter, which was secured by Belgium’s Wout van Aert, and the polka dot jersey or the King of the Mountains jersey, which was clinched by Vingegaard.

Team-wise, Ineos Grenadiers was the best at the 2022 Tour de France.

Pogačar won three stages this year, same as during the two previous Tour de France races, including stage 17, one of the hardest, but the 23-year-old could not make up the gap between him and Vingegaard. The 25-year-old dominated stages 11 and 18 in particular.

The Slovenian intends to take this as a lesson for future races and has vowed to return stronger at next year’s Tour de France. The defeat has motivated him even more and made him even “hungrier” to win, he said at a press conference on Saturday evening after the time trial, the penultimate stage, which he finished in third place.

He said it had been a mistake he responded to every attack during stage 11, noting he paid a high price for this. He also pointed out his team was Covid-depleted and said he was looking forward to new challenges.

Three other Slovenians finished the Tour today – Jan Tratnik (Team Bahrain Victorious) in 72nd place, Matej Mohorič (Team Bahrain Victorious) in 86th place and Luka Mezgec (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) in 101st place, whereas another cycling star, Primož Roglič (Team Jumbo-Visma), dropped out of the race before stage 15 due to injuries.