Who is leading the Tour de France?
After more than two weeks of racing, Slovenia's Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) wears the yellow jersey as the overall leader of the 2021 Tour de France after Stage 15. BicyclingTour de France Leaderboard and Rankings - Who Is Leading the 2021 Tour de France?
Who won stage 17?
Tadej Pogacar wins stage 17! Tadej Pogacar tugs on the yellow jersey as he crosses the line first! Jonas Vingegaard comes through to finish in second place, with Carapaz third! The GuardianTour de France 2021: Pogacar wins stage 17 atop the Col du Portet – as it happened
Who won stage 18?
Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) won stage 18, final mountain stage of the race at the Tour de France, on the summit of Luz Ardiden. The overall race leader attacked a small and select group of GC contenders to take the win ahead of Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) and Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers). Cyclingnews.comTour de France 2021: Stage 18 highlights - Video
Did Cavendish make the time cut stage 18?
Tour de France latest: Pogacar wins stage 18 as Cavendish makes time cut. ... Mark Cavendish is grinning as he climbs the final 200 metres with five of his teammates. The IndependentTour de France 2021 LIVE: Stage 18 result and reaction as Tadej Pogacar wins again
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16 July, 2021 - 05:11pm
16 July, 2021 - 05:11pm
16 July, 2021 - 05:11pm
16 July, 2021 - 05:11pm
Plugge says Dane’s break-out display ‘will not change our plans for him’
While Roglič was the undisputed leader of the Jumbo-Visma octet, Vingegaard had been delegated to slot into the key role vacated by Tom Dumoulin when he pressed pause on his career earlier this season. Rather than simply ride in support of Roglič, Vingegaard was expected to race in tandem with him against Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates).
“It’s the same as we already discussed last year with him, he’s not a typical domestique,” Plugge told reporters in Mourenx on Friday. “Jonas has the kick at the end of the race and that’s why he won already last year in Poland and this year at the UAE Tour, so he’s not a domestique.
"Our plan already with him for this Tour de France was to do it together with Primož and to be a big problem for Tadej. We already wanted him to be high on the classification then, so there is no change to our plans for him [in the future].”
Yet while Vingegaard enjoyed a fine spring, picking up second overall behind Roglič at Itzulia Basque Country and winning the Settimana Coppi e Bartali, the consistently high level of his performance throughout this Tour has still come as a surprise. He was the only rider to trouble Pogačar across the three weeks, dropping him atop Mont Ventoux on stage 12, and he showed few obvious signs of flagging in the third week with a string of assured displays in the Pyrenees.
Despite Vingegaard’s eye-catching debut, however, he still reaches the final weekend of the race some 5:45 behind Pogačar in the overall standings. Almost a minute of that deficit came when Vingegaard was caught up in a crash on stage 3, while the majority was accrued when Pogačar put the Tour beyond the reach of everyone else with a remarkable solo attack over the Col de Romme on stage 8.
“I think Jonas lost an extra minute, I believe, in the third stage where Primoz was taken out, but it was really difficult in the Romme stage to follow Pogačar, that was the big difference,” Plugge said. “But afterwards you could see that he could follow Pogačar. To beat him will be really difficult, but if you can follow him, then you can play a tactical game with Primož. There are more ways.”
Vingegaard is effectively guaranteed a podium finish on the Champs-Élyées on Sunday evening and, on the evidence of the stage 5 time trial in Laval, he should also fend off Ineos Grenadiers' Richard Caparaz (third at 5:51) in Saturday’s time trial to Saint-Émilion to retain second place overall.
This time three years ago, Vingegaard was working every day from dawn to noon icing fish in a factory in Hanstholm on the North Sea Coast, combining employment at ChrisFish with training as an under-23 rider. The following season, he stepped up to WorldTour level with Jumbo-Visma, winning a stage of the Tour de Pologne, and he made further, sizeable strides forward this year.
“Let’s say we’re number eight or nine in the budget ranking, so we have to do it this way, by developing talent,” Plugge said of the rider he signed from Danish Continental squad ColoQuick. “Primož was a little bit older when he came here in terms of age [27 in 2016 – ed.], but he was young as a rider and we also helped him to develop as a big star.
“We like to bring the riders gradually and slowly to become the big star that they have the potential to be. So we have to work on this as well with Jonas. This is a new phase in his career.”
Roglič abandoned the Tour ahead of stage 9 due to the injuries he sustained in his heavy crash on the third day of racing. The Slovenian has since returned to training with a view to competing in both the road race and time trial at the Tokyo Olympic Games, and it also seems possible that he will line up at the Vuelta a España next month in search of a third consecutive overall victory in Madrid.
“He’s good. He’s getting back to training and hopefully he can make it to Tokyo,” Plugge said. “For us, it’s more important that he will be healthy again and maybe he can come to the Vuelta. We have to see how he recovers. But I think he can make Tokyo.”
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16 July, 2021 - 11:46am
The gently rolling 30.8km course is perfect for the big rouleurs looking to add a Tour stage to their list of wins. It’s got a few corners to keep riders honest, but isn’t overly technical. The primary challenge will be pacing. The course has no significant hills, but after a flat start, it starts a long false-flat grind with some gentle undulations to the second intermediate time check, at 20.1km.
From there, a short, straightforward section of slight downhill leads to a final 7km of false flat again to the finish in Saint-Émilion. We’d expect the section from the second time check to the finish to be the most crucial for stage-win hopefuls.
Time trials often reward a so-called “negative split” where the strategy is to try to ride faster in the second half of the course than the first. With fatigue setting in here, it’s here that riders who were disciplined with pacing will start to raise their average speed. They won’t have much to deal with weather-wise, but the forecast does call for moderate crosswinds out of the north. Because the course essentially doubles back on itself in the middle part, they’ll face crosswinds from both sides, but the final 5km will be mostly a tailwind.
This will be a fight between the specialists and two of the top GC riders. That’s for the stage win, at least. There are only a few possible position changes in the top 10, and likely none for the podium.
As far as the GC goes: yellow jersey Tadej Pogačar (UAE-Emirates) won the opening TT on a flatter course on Stage 5, while Jumbo-Visma’s Jonas Vingegaard, in second overall, was third on the day. Pogačar has a commanding overall lead of almost six minutes; barring some unexpected disaster, even if he dials it back a bit (which we don’t expect), his lead will be safe.
And while Vingegaard is only six seconds clear of Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers,) he’s a substantially better time triallist and put over a minute into Carapaz in Stage 5. For his purposes, Carapaz is comfortably ahead of fourth-place rider Ben O’Connor (Ag2r-Citroen), 2:27 behind. There could be a fight for fourth between O’Connor and Bora-Hansgrohe’s Wilco Kelderman, who is 32 seconds further back. They were pretty evenly matched on Stage 5. And Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) could possibly (just) overhaul Movistar’s Enric Mas for sixth place.
Aside from Pogačar and Vingegaard as stage threats, this will be a day for the TT specialists. That means Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ), narrowly beaten by Pogačar on Stage 5; Deceuninck-Quick Step’s Kasper Asgreen; and Jumbo-Visma’s Wout van Aert. Look for good rides from EF Education-Nippo’s Magnus Cort and Stefan Bisseger and DQS’s Mattia Cattaneo. Ineos’s Richie Porte and Geraint Thomas could try to salvage stage wins from an uncharacteristically quiet Tour for the team, but the best threats to win are Pogačar, Küng, Asgreen, and van Aert.
In time trials, riders start in reverse order of the overall classification, with the yellow jersey going last. That spreads the action out considerably. The first rider off the line, Tim Declercq, will start a little after 7 a.m. Eastern, while Pogačar isn’t scheduled to get rolling until 11:19 a.m.
Around 9 a.m., you’ll see a group of potential contenders starting with Asgreen; Cort, Küng, Thomas, and Porte all start in the next half hour; you’ll also catch the finish for American Brandon McNulty, a strong time triallist.
Then there’s a break before the final quartet of likely winners starts with van Aert, 19th overall, at 10:43, followed by Cattaneo and then the top GC riders. If you want to nerd out on TTs, 9 a.m. is a good time to tune in for the Asgreen group. If you wish to check the standings and see the GC riders duke it out, tuning it at 11 a.m. will give you plenty of action before Pogačar’s expected finish time just before noon.
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