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):

1 Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates)

4:34:13

2 Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma)

,,

3 Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo)

+05”

4 Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana)

+08”

5 Enric Mas (Movistar)

+15”

6 Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma)

,,

7 Mikel Landa (Bahrain McLaren)

,,

8 Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)

,,

9 Rigoberto Uran (EF Pro Cycling)

+18”

10 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

+24”

11 Pello Bilbao (Bahrain McLaren)

,,

12 Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma)

+34”

13 Damiano Caruso (Bahrain McLaren)

+01’54”

14 Guillaume Martin (Cofidis)

+03’25”

15 Harold Tejada (Astana)

+03’36”

16 Sébastien Reichenbach (Groupama-FDJ)

+03’43”

17 Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo)

+03’46”

18 Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic)

+03’50”

19 Jan Hirt (CCC)

+04’05”

20 Warren Barguil (Arkea-Samsic)

+05’10”

 

Tour de France 2020 – general classification after stage 15:

1 Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma)

65:37:07

2 Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates)

+40”

3 Rigoberto Uran (EF Pro Cycling)

+01’34”

4 Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana)

+01’45”

5 Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)

+02’03”

6 Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo)

+02’13”

7 Mikel Landa (Bahrain McLaren)

+02’16”

8 Enric Mas (Movistar)

+03’15”

9 Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic)

+05’08”

10 Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma)

+05’12”

11 Guillaume Martin (Cofidis)

+06’45”

12 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

+06’52”

13 Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers)

+08’25”

14 Damiano Caruso (Bahrain McLaren)

+09’02”

15 Warren Barguil (Arkea-Samsic)

+32’27”

16 Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers)

+32’55”

17 Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma)

+34’37”

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

+41’33”

19 Pello Bilbao (Bahrain McLaren)

+43’26”

20 Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott)

+57’07”

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