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Cycling: Pojakar’s Emirates team need to show resilience as Tour de France enters mountain stages – News

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Team may have advantage over defending champion Jonas Vingegaard


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Slovenian rider Tadej Pogacar of Emirates Team Emirates topped the Grand Marathon. – AFP

published: Tuesday, July 4, 2023 at 9:34 pm

After a solid start in Spain’s Basque country, Tadej Pogacar’s Emirates team head into the first mountain stage of the Tour de France with confidence and hope to overtake defending champion Jonas Vengoga Germany.

Last year, Pogacar collapsed under the pressure of Vingegaard’s Jumbo Visma team, which also boasts three-time Vuelta winner Primoz Roglic, and the Dutch team’s double act worked wonders, even if the Slovenian later dropped it.

Dane Vingegaard is without Roglic this year, who skipped the Tour de France after winning the Giro d’Italia, while Emirates recruited Adam Yates. Yates, who is probably the leader of most other teams.

The Briton was in the lead on Wednesday’s first mountain stage, a 162.5km run from Pau to Larence, which included the tough Col de Soudet (15.2km, 7.2%) and the Col de Marie Blanque (7.7 km, 8.6%).

Pogakar was second, six seconds behind, and 24-year-old Slovenian Vingegaard was another 11 seconds behind.

This year, his aggressive racing style will be backed by a stronger team than last year, including Yates, a rejuvenated Rafal Majka and Austrian Felix Grosschatner​​​​ , the latter joined in the offseason.

Jumbo Visma started the Tour de France with the two leaders Vingegaard and Roglic last year, but the order of races in the UAE is clear at a glance.

“At the end of the day Tadegui was the frontrunner, he’s our man for the title in Paris. We’re going to see our legs in the mountains,” Yates, who won the opening stage in Bilbao last Saturday, told reporters.

“I’m feeling good so far, so we’ll see what we can do,” he added, pointing to a potential weakness in the Jumbo Visma – a weakness in the last Emirates.

“If you only have one leader, anything can happen. With two, at least it’s safer in the mountains, you have two options, two cards to play, and that was the plan from the beginning,” he said.

Yates enjoyed three days in yellow, but knew he might have to give it up soon.

“It’s been fantastic to get it the last few days,” he said.

“In the end, the only (yellow) jersey that matters is the one in Paris. I came to the team to help Tadje on the tour, and I’m here. It’s fantastic, but I’m on tour. Tadej was signed in the game.”

Belgium’s Jasper Philipsen won his second consecutive Tour de France stage win amid chaos, with several riders collapsing on the final lap.

Australia’s Caleb Ewan was second, Germany’s Phil Bauhaus was third on Stage 4, 182 kilometers from Dax, and Britain’s Adam Adam Yates retained the overall leader’s yellow jersey.

With the peloton at a snail’s pace for most of the day, the final race turned tense at the Paul Armagnac circuit, close to the Spaniard Luis who once belonged to the 1973 Tour de France winner. ·The vineyards of Luis Ocana.

With just over 1.5km to go, European champion Fabio Jakobsen hit the deck on the right hand corner, says his Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl teammate Julian Alaphilippe , the riders were amazed by the turns.

More riders crashed in the final kilometer, but nothing could derail Phillipson, who once again benefited from a perfect lead to become the first since Dylan Groenewegen in 2018 A sprinter with back-to-back victories in the Tour de France.

Phillipson snatched the green jersey of the points leader from France’s Victor Raphael.

“Caleb was next to me and he almost beat me at the end. Two wins in a row is pretty special,” said Philipson, who again stayed in the wake of Mathieu van der Poel until he made the final s hard work.

“It’s my first time on a racetrack. It’s weird. I hope those who crashed are okay.”

Meanwhile, Mark Cavendish failed to make history on stage four. In the final chaos of the stage, there were a lot of crashes, with many riders hitting the deck. Cavendish has seen a lot over the years, but even he was shocked by the crazy last kilometer.

“It was a bloodbath,” the veteran sprinter for Kazakhstan’s Astana team told Eurosport in a post-match interview. “Every team had a plan for the final and I bet none of them got it right, except Jumbo started those narrow roads ahead of the game.

“The line-up of drivers in the final was really complicated and I was analyzing who was there and who had teammates,” Cavendish continued. “Then I saw Mads Pedersen (Mads Pedersen) and Jasper Jasper Stuyven. He usually starts the sprint early and has headwinds and long straights on wide roads. I think I’ll take advantage of that.”

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