LE CREUSOT, France – Matej Mohoric posted his first stageon Friday following a long breakaway in the race’s longest stage. In the , the 249-kilometer (155-mile) hilly trek from Vierzon to Le Creusot was the longest in 21 years.
Mohoric was part of a group that formed more than 200 kilometers before the finish line. He went solo in the stage’s finale, using a tough climb to drop his remaining breakaway companions and reach the finish line in Le Creusot alone.looked exhausted when he crossed 1 minute, 40 seconds behind. He kept the race leader’s yellow ,
“It was 250 kilometers full gas,”said. “It went fast, and we managed to break away with a powerful group; it was really hard. I went to the limit to keep this jersey, which is special.” Defending champion could not get into the breakaway and rode at the back with several other top contenders. Pogacar lost more than five minutes and dropped to fifth overall, 3:43 off the pace.
The day’s biggest loser was last year’s runner-up,, who crashed earlier in the race. Roglic did not recover and struggled in the climb on Friday. He managed to get to the finish with a deficit exceeding nine minutes, and his hopes of winning the three-week race are effectively over. Roglic will now likely abandon the Jumbo-Visma leadership and work in support of .
Mohoric rides for theand has posted stage wins at all three Grand Tours. He seized the best climber’s polka-dot jersey. The strong headwind made it difficult for riders on the attack to jump out of the pack in the . After many unsuccessful attempts, 29 competitors broke away, including and Van Aert.
Pogacar’sEmirates teammates were caught off guard. They tried to set a sustained tempo but were left to do all the work as rival teams did not move. When they finally moved to the front of the peloton to organize the chase, it was already too late.
The leading group collaborated well and quickly built a one-minute lead.took long turns at the front of a bunch, including former Grand Tours champions – Vincenzo Nibali and Simon Yates – and ten former Tour stage winners. They rode at an impressive average speed of more than 51 kph in the first hour of racing,g and the time gap gradually increased to reach more than 6:30 with 90 kilometers left.
Behind them, the peloton upped the pace with more teams working at the front,t and the gap started to decrease when Mohoric and Brent Van Moer dropped their breakaway companions. With 78 kilometers to go, the pair created a consistent gap as previously practical cooperation in the group,p including Poe,l made way for a series of disorganized attacks. Maurice climb of the Signal d’Uchon, an ascent with an average gradient of 11.5% in its last 1,500 meters. The Slovenian rider crossed first at the top and prolonged his impressive effort until the finish line. Mohoric posts first , Roglic out of contention originally appeared on NBCSports.com.