Matej Mohoric wins second Tour Stage

Pogacar currently holds Yellow, White & Polka Dot jersey

Matej Mohoric wins second Tour Stage

I LIBOURNE: Slovenian Matej Mohoric gave Bahrain Victorious cause to celebrate with his second stage win in this year's Tour de France, just two days after French police raided his team's accommodation and vehicles as part of an investigation into potential doping.

Mohoric, who had already won the 7th stage in Le Creusot, attacked from the breakaway to win the 19th stage, a 207-kilometre ride from Mourenx, virtually zipping his mouth shut as he crossed the finish line.

"It was just a sign to show people who are critical of our performance that we are making huge sacrifices... to come here," Mohoric said at a press conference.

"That has brought us even closer together; we are even more determined to demonstrate that we have nothing to hide and to work with the police."

Mohoric went on to say that despite feeling "weird" about the searches that lasted until 2 a.m. local time, he was happy to cooperate with the investigation, as his team stated.

"I can't speak for the rest of my teammates; I can only speak for myself. At first, I felt strange about being questioned, but then I realized I needed to look at the big picture," he explained.

"This is actually beneficial to the sport of cycling." To be transparent, these questions are being asked because there have been major issues in the sport in the past.

"I can only speak for myself, but I never saw these illegal things happen, so I can be very clear about myself. If someone needs to look through my stuff on my phone, I'll let them."

The French prosecutor's office in Marseille announced that it had opened a preliminary investigation into the Bahrain Victorious team after police raided their hotel.

The investigation was launched to look into the "acquisition, transport, possession, or import of a prohibited substance or prohibited method for use by an athlete without medical justification."

Tadej Pogacar, Mohoric's compatriot, retained the overall leader's yellow jersey for the UAE Team Emirates after staying safe in the peloton and crossing the line more than 20 minutes and 50 seconds behind the pace.

The stage was expected to end in a mass sprint, but 20 riders managed to break away from the main bunch and their advantage grew quickly, giving Mark Cavendish one last chance to win his 35th Tour stage on the Champs-Elysees.

The Briton is tied with Belgian legend Eddy Merckx, who won a record five Tour titles while winning 34 stage victories.

Merckx was at the start of the stage in Mourenx, where he has a velodrome named after him after pulling off one of his greatest feats, winning a mountain stage by more than eight minutes on his way to his first Tour title in 1969.

Christophe Laporte of Cofidis finished second, and Dane Casper Pedersen of Team DSM finished third, both 58 seconds behind the leader.

Edited - SportsAction / Inputs - Agency