Tadej Pogacar nearly gave up the yellow jersey to Lennard Kamna in stage 10 of the Tour de France in the same day when he lost another key helper after George Bennett left the race with a covid diagnosis.
“In all honesty, today’s stage was no stress at all. We had everything under control all the way, and I had good legs after the rest day. I’m happy I can go in yellow into the two hardest stages of this Tour de France,” he said in the post-race interview.
There were no teams that tried to pick up the pace in the peloton, eventually finishing almost nine minutes down on the stage winner Magnus Cort. It seemed as if the UAE Team Emirates was set to ride calmly to have the race lead and responsibility over to Lennard Kamna and Bora-hansgrohe, however for the second time in the race the German’s heart was broken.
“I admire Lennard Kamna. He improves every year and has become one of the best specialists of the world when it comes to breakaways and stage hunting,” Pogacar said.
“He almost took the yellow jersey from me today. I guess it would have been nice for him. On the last climb, many teams began pushing in order to get a good position, the peloton accelerated as a result, and I think that made the difference for me to keep the leadership on the GC”.
Asked about his team situation on the day, Pogacar added: “It is not nice to lose teammates, and I was sad to see George [Bennett] heading home. I hope to survive the next few days. Our motivation is still quite strong and we will keep fighting for the victory.”