Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) soared to his second stage victory at this year’s Tour de France and extended his overall lead on Wednesday’s stage 17. A hard-fought finale saw Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) and Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) move into second and third, respectively, as Rigoberto Urán (EF Education-Nippo) dropped down to the fourth on GC.
The 178.4 km stage from Muret to the summit finish at the Col du Portet came down to a battle on the final climb, where the GC riders were closing in on the last survivors of the day’s break as they made their way up the early slopes.
Following up a big dig from teammate Rafal Majka, Pogačar put in a big acceleration with some 8 km to go on the Col du Portet that only Carapaz, Vingegaard, Urán, and Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroën) could follow, and then Pogačar went again, dropping Urán and O’Connor too.
As O’Connor and Urán linked up with a small group of chasers, Pogačar, Vingegaard, and Carapaz pressed on, catching and passing Anthony Pérez (Cofidis), the last survivor from the early break. From there, the lead trio pushed on up the climb, with Pogačar and Vingegaard sharing pulls at the front.
Pogačar tried and tried again to get clear inside the last 2 km, but he was unable to open a gap. Then Carapaz struck. The move initially dropped Vingegaard, but Pogačar held on, and Vingegaard ultimately clawed his way back up inside the last few hundred meters. Finally, with 200 meters to go, Pogačar put in another big acceleration and pulled away from his rivals, taking his fifth career Tour stage victory at the line. Vingegaard took runner-up honors after his impressive recovery, with Carapaz finishing third on the day.
Tour de France (2.UWT) Muret → Saint-Lary-Soulan (Col du Portet)
Bahrain - Victorious