Tour de France daily digest: The revelation of the 2021 Tour de France

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VeloNews 14 July, 2021 - 06:23pm 6 views

Who won the Tour de France today?

On Tuesday, Patrick Konrad won his first ever Tour de France stage with a brilliant solo effort. Tadej Pogacar retained his yellow jersey over Rigoberto Uran by 5'18" in the overall Tour de France classification. MARCA.comTour de France 2021 Stage 17, LIVE: Pogacar wins, final results and classification

Slovenian handles the tactical battle to claim his first stage win in the yellow jersey

The trio separated themselves from the rest of the GC contenders 7.5km from the summit of the mammoth final climb in the Pyrenees, and things soon became tactical. 

Vingegaard, aware that second-placed Rigoberto Urán (EF Education-Nippo) had been dropped, was keen to push the pace, as was Pogačar, despite his huge buffer at the top of the overall standings. 

Carapaz, however, sat on the back of the group with a constant grimace. Suspicions that he was suffering waned every time he responded to the others' repeated accelerations, and disappeared when he launched an attack of his own in the final two kilometres.

"The three of us went clear but only me and Jonas worked together. I tried a couple of times to go clear - more time is better - but they were really good today," said Pogačar. 

When asked what he said to Vingegaard on the climb, he added: "No secrets, it was nothing much. He said to me he thought Carapaz is bluffing, and I knew it also. It was nothing unusual, this is the tactic in cycling. Then he tried to attack."

While Pogačar had seemed unsettled by the sandbagging presence of Carapaz, the Ecuadorian's tactics, if anything, worked out in his favour. Vingegaard was dropped when the move was made, meaning Pogačar could follow Carapaz as the Ineos rider turned his attentions to putting time into the white jersey of Vingegaard. 

In the final metres, as Vingegaard clawed his way back, Pogačar sprinted for the summit on the steep final ramps of the Col de Portet and won convincingly. 

"I had to really drive to catch him and just to hold his wheel, it was super hard," Pogačar said of Carapaz's attack.

"In the end I just sprint the last 50 metres and it was enough."

The victory is Pogačar's second of this Tour de France, following the stage 5 time trial, and his fifth in two Tours after his three-stage haul en route to last year's overall title. 

However, it was his first in the yellow jersey, with all the others coming in the white of best young rider.

"It was a fantastic day. To win in the yellow is something I cannot describe," he said.

"The team worked really hard every day to defend yellow. Every day was good for the breakaway so every day we couldn't do much, just defend. Today was a good course to manage the breakaway much better and the guys did a fantastic job. 

"We were 50-50 – do we go for the stage or defend? In the end everyone felt good, and we tried, we succeeded and I'm super happy."

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