Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) wins stage 17 of the 2022 Tour de France.

Tadej Pogačar boxes his way to a third stage win but only gains four seconds

Pogačar took his third stage win of the Tour, but it was impossible to shake Vingegaard who crossed the line on his rival's wheel.

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Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) took stage 17 victory on Peyragudes, but he and his team were unable to shake Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma), who crossed the line second and on the same time, losing only four bonus seconds to the Slovenian.

It was full gas from the flag drop in the 129.7 kilometres from Saint-Gaudens to Peyragudes. After a long battle that lasted well into the hefty climbing portion of the day, a large number broke free of the peloton, and though Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) and Alexey Lutsenko (Astana-Qazaqstan) found a bit of daylight ahead of a chase group, the breakaway was doomed.

Despite starting the stage weakened by a factor of Majka, UAE Team Emirates had hatched a plan and as luck would have it, both Mikkel Bjerg and Brandon McNulty were on a spectacular day. By the top of the penultimate climb of Col de Val Louron-Azet, the breakaway riders had been picked off one by one and all that was left of the yellow jersey group was McNulty, Pogačar and Vingegaard.

The white jersey tested his arch-rival with a desperate attack about 200 metres from the summit of the penultimate climb, but Vingegaard’s superglue is some of the world’s best, and the Dane was very quick to react. So much so that Pogačar eased off just over the crest to allow his teammate back on for the descent.

There were still three at the front at the foot of the Peyragudes (8km at 7.8%), and with 2:22 to make up, the onus was on Pogačar to take action. The nearest chasers meanwhile, were Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) and Romain Bardet (DSM) about 1:15 further down the mountain, the latter already fatigued after an earlier attack.

McNulty led the top two all the way up to the final kilometre, dropping them off only for the last 350 metres on the violently steep finishing straight on the altiport. Pogačar went first, but Vingegaard jumped straight on his wheel. The Dane bobbed and weaved, watching the Slovenian whose head sagged in apparent mock fatigue.

Vingegaard wound it up and fired off across the other side of the road, provoking Pogačar back into action, and the Slovenian’s superior sprint put him across the line first for his third stage win of the 2022 Tour – meaning he’s matched his record of three stage wins in every Grand Tour he’s raced. 

However, Vingegaard was his shadow all the while, so the gap between the top two is reduced by only four seconds by virtue of bonuses across the line. 

The damage was done further down the top 10. While teammates Adam Yates and Thomas Pidcock drop to ninth and 15th, Geraint Thomas maintained third overall with fourth on the stage, but his gap has grown out to 4:56. Nairo Quintana (Arkéa Samsic) and David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) have also lost time but still sit fourth and fifth respectively, while Bardet has moved back up to sixth after an incredibly hard day. With one mountain stage left of the Tour, the gap between first and tenth-place Lutsenko is 16:50.

Tour de France (2.UWT) Saint-Gaudens → Peyragudes

POGAČAR Tadej
1
POGAČAR Tadej UAE Team Emirates
2
VINGEGAARD Jonas Jumbo-Visma
3
MCNULTY Brandon UAE Team Emirates
4
THOMAS Geraint INEOS Grenadiers
5
LUTSENKO Alexey Astana Qazaqstan Team
6
BARDET Romain Team DSM
7
GAUDU David Groupama - FDJ
8
VLASOV Aleksandr BORA - hansgrohe
9
MEINTJES Louis Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux
10
QUINTANA Nairo Team Arkéa Samsic

VINGEGAARD Jonas

VAN AERT Wout

GESCHKE Simon

POGAČAR Tadej

INEOS Grenadiers

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