Tadej Pogačar vows to keep on fighting for the yellow jersey depsite losing time to Primož Roglič on the queen stage of the 2020 Tour de France.
The younger Slovenian had promised to keep attacking the race leader until Paris, the only rider seemingly capable of bringing the Jumbo-Visma rider to heel, but the outcome on the Col de la Loze fell in favour of Roglič.
“I lost some seconds today,” Pogačar said after stage 17, having finished third behind Roglič, losing 15 seconds and his GC deficit going back out to 57 seconds. “It was a really brutal climb in the finish, I tried my best, my team tried their best…I lost seconds to Roglič and Lopez but I think I can still be satisfied with today.”
Miguel Ángel López rode away to win the stage, saying he felt more at home as the French Grand Tour finally reached altitude, the Colombian moving up to third on GC, 29 seconds behind Pogačar.
All is not lost for the UAE Team Emirates rider, though, a stage win and podium place is an impressive return for a rider’s debut Tour de France, and Pogačar also now holds both the white and polka dot jerseys.
But judging by his facial expression in his post-stage interview, the jersey Pogačar really wants is yellow, and he is yet to give up hope he can get his hands on it.
“It’s not finished yet, tomorrow is a really hard stage and with the time trial, anything can happen,” a defiant Pogačar said. “I can still lose the podium, win the race, stay second, it’s going to be a hard battle and we will see. Let’s go with the flow tomorrow and we’ll just try our best.”
Such is the strength of the UAE Team Emirates rider that it’s easy to forget he’s only 21 years old. Roglič may keep yellow, but the 2020 Tour is one that will be remembered because of two Slovenian riders.