Suffering Roglic abandons the Tour de France

CLUSES: The candidacy of Primoz Roglic to win the Tour de France 2021 ended with the withdrawal of the Slovenian on Sunday before the first summit arrival in Tignes in the Alps.

Last year’s runner-up trailed 35 minutes behind 2020 champion Tadej Pogacar on Saturday, as the toll of a heavy fall on Stage 3 ultimately thwarted his best triumphant intentions here.

“It didn’t make sense to continue the way it was,” former ski jumper Roglic said after a thrilling first week of racing caused major fallout among contenders for victory in the 21-day race. .

A sports director said AFP the type of fall suffered by Roglic takes at least five days to recover from the shock to the body, with runners waking up stiff as a board for up to a week after such a blow.

Heavily skinned in his fall on Monday, Roglic gradually moved down the standings and after Friday’s mad 250km high-speed race, he appeared embarrassed as he lost pace on the first mountain when the race entered the Alps. Saturday.

Roglic was far from the only one to have suffered blows during the first week since the Briton Geraint Thomas also finished Saturday’s stage 35 minutes late after boarding from the Atlantic port of Brest last Saturday as that clear challenger for the title.

Conversely, defending champion Tadej Pogacar flourished as the world’s largest cycling race crossed France diagonally from its western tip in the fortified port of Brittany to chic ski resorts along the border with Switzerland.

The massive drops and constant attacking tactics have turned the codes of this edition of the tour somewhat upside down, leaving little breathing room for rest as the conservative driving suddenly feels pre-pandemic, as the young riders assert their will.

To top it off, the 22-year-old UAE captain sprayed the opposition on Saturday on the Colombières mountain in the rain, taking on the yellow jersey in such an ominous form the result looks like a formality despite the 13 remaining steps.

La Montagne, the regional newspaper of Haute-Savoie famous for its dishes of Evian water and processed cheeses, headlined its Sunday cover with “Pogacar crushes the Tour”.

Roglic would be keenly aware of what could happen if he continued here as he was himself pulverized on day 20 of the 2020 Tour as Pogacar produced the sporting upheaval of the year to knock Roglic down from first place and win the legendary yellow jersey of the winners in Paris.

Sunday’s 144 km race takes the peloton above the clouds with its summit arrival at an altitude of 2,100 m in Tignes. – AFP

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