Primoz Roglic retained his lead over compatriot Tadej Pogacar atop the Tour de France standings after stage 18 as British outfit Ineos claimed a one-two finish on Thursday. Bedevilled by problems that saw them withdraw their captain Egan Bernal on Wednesday, team-mate Michal Kwiatkowski won the stage as Richard Carapaz took the King of the Mountains jersey with the pair crossing the finish line three minutes ahead of the elite pack.
“I had the best legs ever, the way we rode together with Richard was just incredible,” said Ineos’s Polish rider who is a former world champion.
“When Egan left the race he was very sad but wished us well, and now we have this wonderful day,” he said.
“That’s the Tour de France,” he beamed.
In the race for the overall standings only Saturday’s individual time trial presents a chance for the second-placed Pogacar to stage a coup. Roglic leads Pogacar by 57 seconds with Friday’s stage 19 and the culminating run up the Champs-Elysees on Sunday both set to be decided in a mass bunch sprint.
Sage 17 solo winner Miguel Angel Lopez of Colombia is still third 1:27 off the lead but is less of a time-trialist than his rivals.
2020 TOUR DE FRANCE STAGE RESULT
|1||KWIATKOWSKI Michal||INEOS Grenadiers||4:47:33|
|2||CARAPAZ Richard||INEOS Grenadiers||,,|
|3||VAN AERT Wout||Team Jumbo-Visma||1:51|
|4||ROGLIC Primož||Team Jumbo-Visma||1:53|
|5||POGAČAR Tadej||UAE-Team Emirates||,,|
|6||PORTE Richie||Trek – Segafredo||1:54|
|7||MAS Enric||Movistar Team||,,|
|8||LANDA Mikel||Bahrain – McLaren||,,|
|9||CARUSO Damiano||Bahrain – McLaren||,,|
|10||DUMOULIN Tom||Team Jumbo-Visma||,,|
2020 TOUR DE FRANCE OVERALL STANDINGS
|1||ROGLIČ Primož||Team Jumbo-Visma||79:45:30|
|2||POGAČAR Tadej||UAE-Team Emirates||0:57|
|3||LÓPEZ Miguel Ángel||Astana Pro Team||1:27|
|4||PORTE Richie||Trek – Segafredo||3:06|
|5||LANDA Mikel||Bahrain – McLaren||3:28|
|6||MAS Enric||Movistar Team||4:19|
|8||URÁN Rigoberto||EF Pro Cycling||6:05|
|9||DUMOULIN Tom||Team Jumbo-Visma||7:24|
|10||VALVERDE Alejandro||Movistar Team||12:12|
An enthusiastic fan jumped crashed the celebration in the final meters to the finish line.
RBA/AFP Photo: Bettini