Tour de France: Pogačar defends title

ALTO DA FÓIA, PORTUGAL - FEBRUARY 21: Arrival / Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia and Team UAE - Team Emirates / Celebration / during the 45th Volta ao Algarve, Stage 2 a 187,4 km stage from Almodôvar to Alto Da Fóia 900m / VA / @VAlgarve2019 / on February 21, 2019 in Alto Da Fóia, Portugal. (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

Bordeaux – At 22 years of age Slovenian rider Tadej Pogačar secured his second straight overall victory of the Tour de France by placing 8th in the penultimate stage, the time-trial between Libourne and Saint-Emilion.

To win his second yellow jersey, the Team UAE Emirates’s rider needs but to survive the final stage concluding on the Champs-Élysées, when the leading rider’s lead is a rule not contested.

Today’s stage was won by Belgian Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), followed by Dane Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) and his compatriot Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma).

Pogačar clocked a lag of 57 seconds to place 8th, but commands an unassailable lead of 5:20 minutes ahead of the runner-up Vingegaard heading into the final stage

Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) is third overall, 7:03 minutes behind the leader after placing 23rd today.

Pogačar is thus set to be the youngest two-time winner of the world’s biggest cycling race in its 118-year history.

“I’m super happy to finish – it went so fast. There was so much support on the course, I was just enjoying every moment though I was suffering as it was super hot,” said.

He said he could not compare last year’s Tour victory, when he defeated fellow Slovenian rider Primož Roglič in the time trial in the penultimate stage; “Last year was something else. This year is just different.”