Annecy – Slovenian rider Tadej Pogačar has taken the overall lead at Tour de France after an individual attack that secured him the forth place in the 150.8-km, eight stage of the prestigious race from Oyonnax to Le Grand-Bornand on Saturday.
The member of UAE Team Emirates broke off from all competitors for the yellow jersey 30 kilometres ahead of the finish line to cross it second only to Dylan Teuns of Belgium.
It was a second stage win in a row at Tour de France for a Slovenian after Friday’s win in stage seven by Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious).
The 22-year-old reigning Tour de France champion now has an advantage of 1 minute and 48 seconds ahead of Belgium’s Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and more than four minutes and a half ahead of Alexey Lutsenko of Kazakhstan (Astana-Premier Tech).
“The beginning was very demanding, there were cyclists everywhere, all of them wanting to break off. At the end I felt good in this weather, which suits me well,” Pogačar said about the rainy and cold weather.
“Ahead of the last climbs, I told my team mates that I wanted to beak off the race and we managed to do it. I’m really happy with the outcome,” added the new overall leader.
The remaining Slovenians fell significantly behind, including last year’s Tour de France runner-up Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma), who is struggling with injuries sustained in falls in the early stages of the race.
He crossed the finish line 35 minutes behind the winner, while Mohorič was better by some six minutes than Roglič.