Pogacar claims thrilling stage-four win to regain Tour lead

Tadej Pogacar

Tadej Pogacar regained the leader’s yellow jersey in thrilling fashion as he soloed clear to win stage four of the Tour de France.

On the first big mountain stage of the Tour, Pogacar produced an explosive attack 800 metres from the summit of the iconic Col du Galibier and extended his lead on the 20km descent to the line, putting time into all his general classification rivals.

Remco Evenepoel was second to reach the finish on the 139.6km route from Pinerolo to Valloire, some 35 seconds down, with defending champion Jonas Vingegaard 37 seconds back in fifth.

“It was more or less the plan and we executed it pretty well – I’m super happy. It was like a dream stage and I finished it off so well,” Pogacar said.

“I wanted to hit hard today and I knew this stage very well. I’ve trained here a lot of times and it felt like a home stage. I was confident in the start and I had good legs.”

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Slovenia’s Pogacar, 25, now leads Evenepoel by 45 seconds in the GC standings, with Vingegaard five seconds further adrift in third.

Richard Carapaz, who led the race overnight, lost more than five minutes and is now 22nd overall.

With the race taking an early incursion into the Alps as it moved from Italy to France, this was a statement performance from Pogacar and UAE Team Emirates.

Denmark’s Vingegaard and Visma–Lease a Bike (previously Jumbo-Visma) have dominated the past two editions of the Tour.

However, this year will feel like the perfect opportunity to redress the balance, with Vingegaard and Wout van Aert both competing after missing a significant block of training and preparation following serious early-season crashes.

Joao Almeida and Juan Ayuso in particular, superbly raised the pace for Pogacar up the 23km ascent of the Galibier, whittling down the GC group until the Slovenian elected to make his move.

While Vingegaard, who had been left isolated without any team support, was quick to respond, a second acceleration meant Pogacar opened a seven-second gap, which he extended on the twisty descent to the finish.

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