Tour de France 2020: Stage 20 – Stunning Pogacar storms to yellow

A DRAMATIC stage 20 of the Tour de France saw Tadej Pogacar (UAE -Team Emirates) ride an extraordinary time trial to snatch the yellow jersey from the shoulders of an out-of-sorts Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma). Such was the calibre of his outstanding TT that the young Slovenian also secured the polka dots from Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) to add to his best young rider jersey. The fact that he also claimed the stage victory from Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma) seems almost superfluous to the story! Trek-Segafredo’s Richie Porte rode out of his skin to claim the third step of the podium from Astana’s Miguel Angel Lopez. HOLY WOW what a stage!

You all know I LOVE a time trial. The exquisite suffering of rider and bike versus the clock. The race of truth where there is no where to hide when it all goes wrong. I remember Laurent Fignon losing the maillot jaune to Greg Lemond on that final TT in Paris in 1989. It remains a constant ‘Wow! I witnessed something incroyable‘… today was another such moment.

I don’t think anyone will forget watching the fate of two brilliant Slovenians unfold in front of us on the road to La Planche des Belles Filles. I hope this is true.

Let’s break it down.

Yellow Jersey Drama

Going into the stage, Roglic held a 57 second advantage over Pogacar and the general feeling from fans and experts alike was that this would be enough, even if we all knew Pogacar would surely give his all.

It all started well – no one better than Tony Martin to pin your race numbers to  your skinsuit. I do love that Jumbo’s team spirit.

Sir Bradley Wiggins was determining TT outcomes by studying style on the pre-race roller warm ups. Or at least that’s what I took away from this

Nothing but pain ahead

It quickly became apparent that Rog was not on a super day, his advantage was whittled away at every intermediate time check. While Pog was eating his way through the 30km of flat before the 6km beast of a climb, catching his two minute man Lopez and zooming straight past him without a glance.

By the time they hit the last 6km on the slopes of La Blanches de Belles Filles the yellow jersey was still on the shoulders of Roglic by 20secs.

And then we come to the bike change – the crucial tactic for this flat-to-mountain-climb TT. Every team and rider had to balance the time gained by changing to a road bike for the ascent, against the potential time lost for the change itself. If you opted to change, it had to be slick and quick.

Tadej and his team produced a blinder

Primoz and the Jumbo Bees – less so

After the bike change Roglic just never looked right on his road bike. He lost his calm cadence and cool poise. In the saddle, out of the saddle – it didn’t really matter the time was bleeding away and he looked increasingly frazzled. The advantage swung to his young compatriot who powered away on the slope at full gas. 20 seconds, 30 seconds, 50 seconds and Pogacar was in virtual yellow and still riding strong.

What happened next was hard to describe as we all sat on the edge of our seats spellbound.

The Jumbo Bees watched on in disbelief

But Pogacar flew to the finish to take the stage victory and set the fastest time on the climb to grab the King of the Mountain title. What a ride

By the time Roglic came over the line he was out of yellow and sitting on the tarmac in second place at +59secs.

(the helmet?!)

This clip of Rob Hatch calling the finale is BRILLIANT

There are no words that can help in this situation.

These two Slovenians have been the bromance of this tour. So much respect for each other.

As was this from the Jumbo Bees

There will of course be the inevitable twitter inquest of what happened to the man in yellow at the start of the stage. Was it nerves? The change of bike mid course?

However it plays out, the Jumbo Bees have ridden with heart, team set on PLAN A for the entire race and for that they deserve a huge round of applause.

Sometimes it’s just this simple… Chapeau Primoz.

A word from the new man in yellow, white and polka pox

Tadej Pogacar, phenomenal. No other words required

I think he just gave everyone a demonstration

Handling those Lion plushies like a pro

We’ll hear more from him on the podiums in Paris tomorrow , but for now

LOVE THIS STAT

Least we forget

Richie Porte You Beaut!

Richie Porte has avoided catastrophe this Tour. Even when he lost time in the echelons and punctured on the gravel on stage 18 – he fought his way back with tenacious grit. Yes, Superman Lopez had a shocker of timetrial, but Richie rode a brilliant one – finishing  on the same time as Dumoulin.  I’m thrilled (and surprised in the best way ) that he claims a podium place.

RICHIE ON A GOOD WILLUNGA DAY

Divine intervention

Trek-Segafredo remained calm

Yes, you can believe your eyes, Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) has ridden onto the third step of the podium at the 2020 Tour de France. All those years of terrible luck are well and truly put into the shade. What a day for the #couchpeloton Down Under

Richie has been shepherded around France behind the rainbow stripes of Mads Pedersen (another lovely bromance). Mads had a good feeling yesterday

 

and he was right

What a fantastic day for the whole Porte family

A Final Wout

I can’t finish my final write up form this Tour without a petit homage to VeloVoices favourite Jumbo Bee, Wout van Aert. We have seen sprinting Wout, mountain goat Wout and now I bring you time trial Wout. Enjoy 😀

Warming up…#capsnothats

He had us with the Wout pout

At the start

noted…it’s gorgeous

Knocking long time leader Remi Cavagna from the hotseat. LOOK at that determination

and still manages to look magnificent after a tad over 90mins of suffering, snot and spittle

factoid

You’re in good company Will

The Final Word

I’m leaving you with a song. Enjoy!!

Results

Stage 20 Top 5

1 Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates) 55:55

2 Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma) +1:21

3 Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) same time

4 Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) +1:31

5 Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +1:56

GC Top 10

1 Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Emirates) 84:26:33

2 Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +0:59

3 Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) +3:06

4 Mikel Landa (Bahrain McLaren) +5:58

5 Enric Mas (Movistar) +06:07

6 Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) +6:47

7 Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma) +7:48

8 Rigoberto Uran (EF Pro Cycling) +8:02

9 Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) +9:25

10 Damiano Caruso (UAE-Team Emirates) +14:03

All the jerseys

Leader’s jersey Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates)

Points jersey Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick Step)

King of the Mountains Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates)

Best Young Rider Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates)

For full race reviews, go to cyclingnews.

Official race website: Le Tour

Header image: ©CHRISTOPHE ENA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

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