Champion Tadej Pogacar seizes lead as Tour enters Alps
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LE GRAND-BORNAND – Defending champion Tadej Pogacar soared into the Tour de France overall lead on Saturday on an Alpine stage won by Belgian Dylan Teuns as British outfit Ineos's hopes were again battered.
UAE's Slovenian leader Pogacar finished fourth, around a minute behind Teuns, but this was a statement of intent as the race enters the mountains as he took another three minutes out of his most credible rival Ineos' Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz.
Overnight leader Mathieu van der Poel went into a trademark 'all or nothing at all' meltdown and looks set drop out of the Tour as promised and jet off to Tokyo to contest the mountain bike gold.
Pogacar was again head and shoulders above the rest of the field.
With 13 stages remaining, he leads the Tour by 1min 48sec from Wout Van Aert, who is Jumbo's main hope after Primoz Roglic's misadventures with a fall and subsequent decline in form.
The 22-year-old Pogacar will wear the yellow jersey for only the second time on Sunday. He took control of the 2020 Tour on the penultimate day, but rather than bide his time on this raucous edition, he has seized control early.
The 150km run that culminated with the ascent and descent of a classic Tour climb the Colombier was the first of eight mountain stages. There were large weekend crowds in the Upper Savoy region known for Evian water, melted-cheese dishes and the Chamonix ski resort.