Twenty-one year old Tadej Pogačar won his first Tour de France stage in Laruns as UAE Team Emirates claimed their second stage of this year’s race.
Pogačar, who took three stages in the 2019 Vuelta a Espana, claimed stage 9 this afternoon, a 153 kilometres stage from Pau to Lauruns. The Slovenian outsprinted a group containing the new yellow jersey Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), Marc Hirschi (Sunweb), Egan Bernal (Ineos-Grenadiers) and Mikel Landa (Bahrain-McLaren).
“It is incredible to have won at the end of such a hectic day,” admitted Pogačar, “I am very happy, in the final my goal was to recover as many seconds as possible in the general classification, also aiming for bonuses, but the concentration was then turned to the sprint: I don’t remember exactly how I won the sprint, I just thought about pushing as hard as possible.”
The UAE Team Emirates rider becomes the youngest Tour stage winner in the 21st century.
Nicolas Roche’s teammate Mark Hirschi had led the race for 80 kilometres, before being caught by the chasing quartet with the finishing line in sight on the ascent of the Col de Marie Blanque.
The group of the favourites was influenced by two attacks of Pogačar, with only Roglic, Bernal and Landa able to follow the UAE Team Emirates leader who had a near crash when he made contact with Roglic over the top of the climb.
Adam Yates surrendered the yellow jersey to pre-race favourite Primoz Roglic as the Briton lost touch with the main group of contenders late on the 153km stage.
In the general classification, Pogačar gains another two positions and climbs back to 7th place (+44″ from Roglic), while in the youth ranking the Slovenian is 23″ behind Egan Bernal (Ineos-Grenadiers).
Ireland’s Sam Bennett finished 153rd on stage nine and remains second in the race for the green jersey on 131 points, seven behind Slovakia’s Peter Sagan.
Stage 9 results:
1. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) 3:55:17
2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) s.t.
3. Marc Hirschi (Sunweb) s.t.
General classification after the 9th stage:
1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 38:40:01
2. Egan Bernal (Ineos-Grenadiers) @ 21 ”
3. Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) @ 28 ”