Cycling: Cycling-Pogacar pips Vingegaard to extend Tour lead with stage seven win

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RONCHAMP, France (Reuters) -Tadej Pogacar strengthened his grip on the Tour de France as he prolonged his total lead with victory on the seventh stage on Friday after being given a run for his cash by his essential rival, Jonas Vingegaard.

The twice-defending champion pipped final yr’s runner-up Vingegaard of Denmark to the road after a lung-destroying last effort on the finish of the ascent to the Super Planche des Belles Filles, a 7-km climb at a mean gradient of 8.7%.

“It was a very nice stage to win I’m tremendous comfortable I may win it but it surely was so laborious. At the top I used to be on the restrict, actually,” Slovenia’s Pogacar mentioned after the 176.3-km experience from Tomblaine in japanese France.

“I used to be actually dangerous in the long run as a result of Jonas is actually robust, had to give every thing and I needed this stage in any respect price.”

Emerging from a cloud of mud within the last kilometre raced on soiled roads, German Lennard Kaemna appeared shut to victory as he led the group of favourites by some 40 seconds.

That is when Pogacar determined to take the matter into his personal palms because the gradient went over 20%, placing the hammer down within the first mountain-top end of the race.

The 23-year-old’s acceleration left his rivals gasping for air however Vingegaard managed to take his wheel and countered after the duo caught Kaemna with lower than 100 metres to go.

The Dane had a few bike lengths on Pogacar and appeared to be heading for victory when the UAE rider produced a last burst of pace to go round Vingegaard and take his second stage win in two days.

Primoz Roglic, the 2020 runner-up, took third place, 12 seconds behind, displaying good kind two days after dislocating his shoulder in a crash throughout the fifth stage.

Overall, Pogacar leads Vingegaard by 35 seconds with Britain’s Geraint Thomas sitting in third place, one minute and 10 seconds off the tempo.

Thomas’s Ineos-Grenadiers group, with 4 riders within the high 10 total, might be wanting to blow the race open when it hits the Alps on Sunday.

Russian Aleksandr Vlasov, one of many riders tipped to make it onto the rostrum in Paris, was dropped with 4km left and misplaced 1:39.

Kaemna took fourth place whereas Thomas was fifth, each crossing the road 14 seconds behind the yellow jersey holder.

France’s David Gaudu completed sixth, 19 seconds adrift, to transfer up to fifth total, 1:31 off the tempo and 13 seconds behind Briton Adam Yates, who’s fourth.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Christian Radnedge, Ken Ferris and Toby Davis)



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