Pogacar on course second TDF title

Belgian Wout van Aert wins Stage 20 in 35mins 53secs

Pogacar on course second TDF title

SAINT EMILION: Tadej Pogacar is on course to win his second Tour de France title in a row after the final time trial, a 30.8-kilometre solo effort from Libourne.

The 22-year-old UAE Emirates rider finished eighth in the 20th stage, which was won by Belgian Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) in 35 minutes and 53 seconds.

Danes Kasper Asgreen and Jonas Vingegaard finished second and third in the 20th stage, 21 and 32 seconds behind the leaders.

Pogacar leads Vingegaard by five minutes and twenty seconds, and Ecuador's Richard Carapaz by seven minutes and three seconds, heading into Sunday's final stage, a largely processional ride from Chatou to the Champs Elysees in Paris.

"I'm relieved that it's all over. It's been a long, exhausting three weeks. Every day, we rode hard from morning to night. Yesterday (Friday), I wasn't very motivated; after three weeks, you lose motivation," Pogacar told reporters that he took no risks while racing through the Bordeaux vineyards.

"Today (Saturday), I told myself, 'Come on, let's go for it!' But it wasn't my fastest day on the bike, so the strongest rider won. I am still very pleased with my outcome and the way my day went."

The UAE Emirates rider outperformed his competitors in both the opening time trial and the mountain stages, claiming three stage wins in a dominant performance.

It was a stark contrast to last year when Pogacar took the overall lead in the final time trial after fellow Slovenian Primoz Roglic crashed on the uphill drag to La Planche des Belles Filles.

Pogacar was the favourite this time, and he delivered, despite benefiting from his main rival's failure, with Roglic pulling out ahead of the eighth stage due to a crash earlier in the race.

Crashes also effectively ruled out 2018 champion Geraint Thomas and his Ineos Grenadiers teammate Tao Geoghegan Hart, the Giro d'Italia winner for 2020.

Pogacar is expected to win the white jersey for the best Under-25 rider as well as the polka-dot jersey for the mountains classification, as he did last year.

Pogacar will become the race's youngest double winner.

Edited - SportsAction / Inputs - Agency