Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) won his third stage of the 2021 Tour de France atop the Luz Ardiden. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) crossed the finish line of stage 18 in second, with Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) taking third on the day.
The three crossed the line in the same order as the general classification heading into stage 19, with Pogačar leading Vingegaard by five minutes 45 seconds, and only six seconds separating Carapaz and Vingegaard.
With the mountain classification seemingly the tightest competition in the race, Bahrain Victorious was keen to keep Wout Poels within reach of some extra points. Poels’ team kept any attempts at a breakaway in check in the opening kilometres of the race, especially when world champion Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) joined the fray.
David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) was the last man standing up the road but was caught by Ineos Grenadiers and the remains of the peloton as the race hit the final climb, Luz Ardiden.
With the Ineos Grenadiers driving the pace Rigoberto Urán (EF Education-Nippo) suffered and lost contact with his rivals. Eventually, only Pogačar, Carapaz, Vingegaard, and Enric Mas (Movistar) were left at the head of the race in the final kilometre.
Mas was the first to attack but was countered by the yellow jersey, and with 400 meters to go Pogačar rode away from the others to win his third stage of the 2021 Tour de France, moving into the lead in the mountains classification along the way.
Tour de France (2.UWT) Pau → Luz Ardiden
Bahrain - Victorious