Pogacar crushes field in time trial – Asia Despatch

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Tadej Pogacar holds his arms aloft in celebration after winning stage five of the 2021 Tour de France
Tadej Pogacar has now won four stages in just two editions of the Tour de France

Defending champion Tadej Pogacar claimed a dominant time trial victory on stage five as Mathieu van der Poel narrowly retained the yellow jersey.

Pogacar, 22, finished the 27.2km course in 32 minutes – 19 seconds quicker than Stefan Kung in second on the day.

The Slovenian’s stunning ride saw him put more time into his rivals and almost claim the overall race lead.

But Van der Poel produced a defiant effort to finish fifth and is now eight seconds ahead of Pogacar.

“It was a really good day for me, luckily I had perfect conditions,” said Pogacar, who now has four stage wins at the Tour.

“I gained time so I’m super happy and excited for the whole Tour.

“I would love to have the yellow jersey too but it also looks super nice on Mathieu.”

Pogacar is now likely to take the yellow jersey before the week ends, having claimed it on the penultimate stage last year by overhauling compatriot Primoz Roglic in a thrilling time trial.

Defending it over two weeks will represent a new challenge for him and his UAE Team Emirates squad, but he already has an imposing lead over his main rivals.

Stage five results

  1. Tadej Pogacar (Slo/UAE Team Emirates) 32:00
  2. Stefan Kung (Swi/Groupama-FDJ) +19secs
  3. Jonas Vingegaard (Den/Jumbo-Visma) +27secs
  4. Wout van Aert (Bel/Jumbo-Visma) +30secs
  5. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned/Alpecin-Fenix) +31secs
  6. Kasper Asgreen (Den/Deceuninck-QuickStep) +37secs
  7. Primoz Roglic (Slo/Jumbo-Visma) +44secs
  8. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita/Deceuninck-QuickStep) +55secs
  9. Richie Porte (Aus/Ineos Grenadiers) Same time
  10. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz/Astana) +1min

General classification after stage five

  1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned/Alpecin-Fenix) 16hrs 51mins 41secs
  2. Tadej Pogacar (Slo/UAE Team Emirates) +8secs
  3. Wout van Aert (Bel/Jumbo-Visma) +30secs
  4. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra/Deceuninck-QuickStep) +48secs
  5. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz/Astana) +1min 21secs
  6. Pierre Latour (Fra/Total-Energies) +1mins 28secs
  7. Rigoberto Uran (Col/EF Education Nippo) +1min 29secs
  8. Jonas Vingegaard (Den/Jumbo-Visma) +1min 43secs
  9. Richard Carapaz (Ecu/Ineos Grenadiers) +1min 44secs
  10. Primoz Roglic (Slo/Jumbo-Visma) +1min 48secs

Selected other

12. Geraint Thomas (GB/Ineos Grenadiers) +1min 54secs

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