Bernal out of Tour battle as Pogacar wins on Grand Colombier

The Tour de France boiled down to a battle between its two star Slovenian riders Sunday as last year’s winner Egan Bernal dropped out of realistic contention.

Tadej Pogacar beat yellow jersey-holder Primoz Roglic in a dramatic mountaintop finish to Stage 15, though Roglic retains a 40-second advantage in the yellow jersey and formidable support from teammates who shepherded him up the Grand Colombier climb.

Bernal plummeted down the standings, all but ensuring the end of a five-year streak of Tour victories by his Ineos Grenadiers team.

”At the moment, Roglic seems unstoppable,” Pogacar said. ”But today Bernal cracked and maybe one day myself or Primoz will crack too. There are still a lot of opportunities ahead.”

Pogacar stayed with Roglic on the long and brutal Grand Colombier climb despite Roglic having backing from four teammates on his ascent. They drew on their last reserves to sprint for the summit finish, Pogacar taking his second stage win by a bike-length.

Pogacar and Roglic were given the same time. As the stage winner, Pogacar was awarded 10 bonus seconds in the general classification against Roglic’s six for second place. Roglic leads Pogacar by 40 seconds overall.

”I was a bit too short at the end. I didn’t make any gift to Tadej. We are good friends but we both want to win. He was just stronger and I was a bit disappointed to lose the stage,” Roglic said, adding that the Tour is ”far from over.”

Monday is a rest day before five competitive stages including an individual time trial on Saturday, then the traditional procession into Paris on Sept. 20.

Colombian riders started the day ranked third to sixth overall behind the Slovenian duo, but all of them lost time Sunday on the 175-kilometer stage into the Jura mountains, and for two the challenge seemed over.

Bernal dropped off the lead group on the Grand Colombier climb and appeared to lose any chance of retaining the title as he dropped to 13th overall, 8 minutes 25 seconds off the yellow jersey. Fellow Colombian Nairo Quintana started the day fifth but also dropped back on Grand Colombier and is ninth, 5 minutes, 8 seconds off the lead.

Two more Colombian riders, Rigoberto Uran and Miguel Angel Lopez, managed to stay with the lead group and sit third and fourth in the overall standings.

Tour de France 2020 – stage 15 results (Lyon – Grand Colombier):

1Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates)

4:34:13

2Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma)

,,

3Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo)

+05”

4Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana)

+08”

5Enric Mas (Movistar)

+15”

6Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma)

,,

7Mikel Landa (Bahrain McLaren)

,,

8Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)

,,

9Rigoberto Uran (EF Pro Cycling)

+18”

10Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

+24”

11Pello Bilbao (Bahrain McLaren)

,,

12Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma)

+34”

13Damiano Caruso (Bahrain McLaren)

+01’54”

14Guillaume Martin (Cofidis)

+03’25”

15Harold Tejada (Astana)

+03’36”

16Sébastien Reichenbach (Groupama-FDJ)

+03’43”

17Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo)

+03’46”

18Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic)

+03’50”

19Jan Hirt (CCC)

+04’05”

20Warren Barguil (Arkea-Samsic)

+05’10”

 

Tour de France 2020 – general classification after stage 15:

1Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma)

65:37:07

2Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates)

+40”

3Rigoberto Uran (EF Pro Cycling)

+01’34”

4Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana)

+01’45”

5Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)

+02’03”

6Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo)

+02’13”

7Mikel Landa (Bahrain McLaren)

+02’16”

8Enric Mas (Movistar)

+03’15”

9Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic)

+05’08”

10Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma)

+05’12”

11Guillaume Martin (Cofidis)

+06’45”

12Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

+06’52”

13Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers)

+08’25”

14Damiano Caruso (Bahrain McLaren)

+09’02”

15Warren Barguil (Arkea-Samsic)

+32’27”

16Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers)

+32’55”

17Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma)

+34’37”

18Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept)

+41’33”

19Pello Bilbao (Bahrain McLaren)

+43’26”

20Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott)

+57’07”

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