The Tour de France is not gained and accomplished, in keeping with Jumbo-Visma group administration, who will not low cost the menace that Tadej Pogačar poses till the ultimate stage to Paris is over.
The Tour resumed on Tuesday with a hilly 22.4km time trial from Passy to Combloux the results of which appeared to shock all of the heavyweights.
Pogačar thought he’d be within the yellow jersey on the finish of the day, however it was defending champion Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) who annihilated the sphere, taking the stage honours and growing his race lead on Pogačar from 10 seconds to 1:48.
“I am stunned not by Jonas as a result of we anticipated kind of an enormous end result like this in time as an example, however we didn’t anticipate such an enormous benefit in comparison with Pogačar as a result of that is what he can do, that is his specialty,” Jumbo-Visma managing director Richard Plugge stated post-race.
Vingegaard has over the previous week repeatedly stated that this yr’s Tour de France wouldn’t be determined by the seconds that up till Tuesday separated him and Pogačar, quite by minutes.
Earlier than the time trial that appeared uncertain, with the pair evenly matched amid solutions that momentum was gathering in Pogačar’s favour, however the Dane’s blistering time trial sharply pushed again the pendulum swing.
“He was very a lot motivated, as if he had the sensation, I am second and I must battle again to him, I must catch him,” Plugge stated of Vingegaard’s mentality.
“And that basically made him sturdy. He nearly caught him actually, in order that was actually good.”
Jumbo-Visma employees have been scattered all alongside the street previous the end line and have been jubilant however clear that the job was not but accomplished. Stage 17 on Wednesday contains the very best level of this yr’s Tour – the Col de la Loze. The penultimate stage within the Vosges additionally gives alternatives for Pogačar to doubtlessly bounce again, as he did within the Pyrenees.
Plugge stated Vingegaard’s stage win and wholesome benefit on the final classification was a “massive reduction”, however the group is not enjoyable but.
“Pogačar is just like the Germans as we are saying in Holland, with soccer, you solely beat them when they’re within the bus again dwelling,” Plugge stated. “We’re solely celebrating when he [Vingegaard] is in Paris within the bus and he is [Pogačar’s] again to Ljubljana, after which we’re positive.
“He’ll battle again and that makes him one of many nicest opponents.
“This era, they preserve preventing and we’re ready to battle clearly.”