Kwiatkowski conquers Grand Colombier as Pogacar closes on Vingegaard


Tadej Pogacar continued to claw back time on Jonas Vingegaard with a late, brutal uphill sprint to drop the defending champion in the finale of 13th stage of the Tour de France at the top of the Col du Grand Colombier.

The Slovenian, Tour winner in 2020 and 2021, stood on the pedals inside the last kilometre and launched a furious sprint with Vingegaard holding his wheel before losing the slipstream and four seconds on the line.

Pogacar, who has now beaten Vingegaard in the last three mountain stages, took third place on the day, 50 seconds behind Michal Kwiatkowski, the best of the breakaway riders.

It was former world champion Kwiatkowski’s second stage win on the Tour after 2020, the year then defending champion and team mate Egan Bernal abandoned with back pain on the same climb to the Col du Grand Colombier.

Pogacar, who picked up four bonus seconds, trails Vingegaard by nine seconds in the general classification, keeping the Jumbo-Visma rider on his toes ahead of two awe-inspiring stages in the Alps.

Saturday’s 14th stage is a gruelling Alpine effort over 152 kilometres ending in Morzine after a tricky descent from the punishing Col de Joux Plane, a 11.6km ascent at 8.1%.

It will be followed by another trying mountain trek on Sunday ending with an explosive climb to Saint Gervais (7km at 7.7%).


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