Tadej Pogacar Triumphs in Stage 17 Ascent of Peyragudes
In an exhilarating display of strength and determination, Tadej Pogacar from UAE Team Emirates emerged victorious in the third stage of the 2022 Tour de France. The brutal ascent of Peyragudes proved to be a formidable challenge, but Pogacar’s exceptional cycling skills propelled him to the finish line. Despite this stunning achievement, Pogacar only managed to gain a mere four seconds on the overall leader of Le Tour, Jonas Vingegaard from Jumbo-Visma.
Vingegaard Successfully Holds onto the Yellow Jersey
Vingegaard showcased his unwavering determination to defend his coveted yellow jersey, maintaining a noteworthy lead of 2 minutes and 18 seconds over Pogacar, even after the time bonus was awarded to the Slovenian cyclist for his Stage 17 victory. Anticipated fireworks on the stage did not result in Pogacar being able to shake off Vingegaard, as the two cyclists engaged in an intense battle of skill and stamina.
Stage 17 Results of the 2022 Tour de France
- Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) – 3:25:21
- Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) – +0:00
- Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates) – +0:32
The stage began with a setback for Pogacar’s UAE Team Emirates as Rafa Majka was forced to withdraw from Le Tour due to injuries. With their team reduced to only four riders, the situation became concerning as they were unable to fully capitalize on Jumbo-Visma’s loss of two strong climbers in Stage 15. Not since the 1989 Tour de France has a winning team finished with only four riders, underscoring the significance of this challenging situation.
American cyclist Brandon McNulty, a teammate of Pogacar on UAE Team Emirates, delivered a sensational performance as a super domestique during Stage 17. McNulty played an invaluable role by assisting in chasing down the breakaway and then setting a formidable pace during the ascent of Val Louron, leaving behind all other general classification contenders except for Pogacar and Vingegaard. Pogacar commended McNulty’s exceptional contribution, acknowledging his exceptional performance throughout the entire Tour de France.
As the leading trio reached the summit of Val Louron, Pogacar launched an attack with 20 kilometers remaining. The Slovenian cycling prodigy aimed to create separation from Vingegaard during the subsequent downhill stretch, but the Danish cyclist tenaciously stuck to his wheel, refusing to yield. The uphill portions proved to be Pogacar’s strength, but Vingegaard cunningly matched his every move, resulting in a gripping duel between the two competitors.
As the finish line drew near, the road inclined steeply with a daunting 16% gradient. Vingegaard initiated an attack in the final kilometer, attempting to gain an advantage. However, Pogacar skillfully remained on his tail, refusing to be left behind. The climactic moment came when Pogacar unleashed a burst of acceleration that left Vingegaard unable to respond adequately, ultimately securing Pogacar’s victory in Stage 17. Despite the triumph, the time difference gained was only a meager four seconds.
Looking ahead to Stage 18, Pogacar recognizes that it represents his last opportunity to substantially reduce his deficit before the critical individual time trial of Stage 20. If Vingegaard can successfully withstand Pogacar’s onslaught and minimize any time loss, he will position himself favorably to claim the overall victory and prevent Pogacar from clinching a historic three-peat.
Stage 18 Preview: Lourdes to Hautacam
The upcoming Stage 18 from Lourdes to Hautacam presents a make-or-break moment for Pogacar in the Pyrenees. This stage comprises two grueling HC (beyond categorized) climbs at Col d’Aubisque and Hautacam, along with a demanding Category 1 climb to the summit of Col de Spandelles sandwiched in between. These formidable ascents will undoubtedly determine the outcome of this year’s Tour de France.
Pogacar is currently favored at +240 odds in Stage 18, closely followed by Vingegaard at +275. Demonstrating his dominance in mountain stages over the past three years, Pogacar has emerged victorious in an impressive 37% of them. As the stage unfolds, the cycling world eagerly awaits to discover if Pogacar can expose any vulnerabilities in Vingegaard’s performance and turn the tide in his favor.
Current General Classification Standings
- Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) – 67:53:54
- Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) – +2:18
- Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) – +4:56
- Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic) – +7:53
- David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) – +7:57
Although there have been no changes in the top five positions of the general classification standings, both Vingegaard and Pogacar have significantly extended their respective leads over their closest competitors. Geraint Thomas finished fourth in Stage 17 but suffered a loss of over two minutes, leaving him 4 minutes and 56 seconds behind Vingegaard in third place. Consequently, Thomas and his Ineos team will now prioritize maintaining his firm grip on the third position in the overall standings.
Vingegaard is currently heavily favored at -700 odds to emerge as the victor of the Tour de France. Despite initially being considered a formidable rival, the bookmakers’ faith in Pogacar has wavered after his relatively subdued performance in Stage 17. As a result, Pogacar’s odds to secure a historic three-peat have increased to +500. The forthcoming stages promise riveting competition as the race for ultimate cycling glory intensifies.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Will Brandon McNulty continue to play a crucial role in supporting Tadej Pogacar?
McNulty’s exceptional performance as a super domestique in Stage 17 highlights his significance in Pogacar’s team strategy. His continued support will undoubtedly be vital in Pogacar’s pursuit of the yellow jersey.
2. How many stages has Tadej Pogacar won in the Tour de France?
Pogacar has emerged victorious in an impressive 37% of all mountain stages in the Tour de France over the past three years, showcasing his extraordinary talent and dominance in these challenging stages.
3. What is the significance of Stage 18 in the Pyrenees?
Stage 18 represents a critical moment for Pogacar as it presents his final opportunity to significantly reduce his time deficit before the crucial individual time trial in Stage 20. The challenging climbs at Col d’Aubisque and Hautacam will serve as the ultimate test for Pogacar.
4. Who are the main contenders for the yellow jersey in the Tour de France?
The primary contenders for the yellow jersey are Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogacar. Vingegaard currently maintains a substantial lead, positioning himself as the favorite, while Pogacar seeks to make a comeback and secure a historic three-peat.
5. How has Geraint Thomas performed in the Tour de France so far?
Geraint Thomas currently holds the third position in the general classification standings, trailing behind Vingegaard and Pogacar. Despite finishing fourth in Stage 17, Thomas faces the challenge of maintaining his position amidst fierce competition.
As the Tour de France enters its crucial stages, the determination and resilience of the cyclists will undoubtedly captivate audiences worldwide. Stay tuned for more updates and thrilling moments in this prestigious cycling event.
The 2022 Tour de France continues to deliver gripping moments, with Tadej Pogacar’s triumph in Stage 17 injecting a renewed sense of anticipation into the race. The battle between Pogacar and Vingegaard intensifies as they navigate the challenging stages in the Pyrenees. Stage 18 at Hautacam promises to be a pivotal moment for Pogacar’s pursuit of the yellow jersey, while Vingegaard aims to preserve his lead and secure a triumphant victory. The competition unfolds, and the cycling world eagerly awaits the thrilling climax of this year’s Tour de