Slovenian Tadej Pogacar in the yellow overall leader jersey celebrates on the podium after winning the 107th edition of the Tour de France cycling race.
Tadej Pogacar became the first Slovenian to win the Tour de France when he finished the famous three-week race on the Champs Elysees in Paris on Sunday.
Pogacar, who turns 22 this Monday, is the youngest winner since 1904, sealing his victory with a sensational performance in the mountain time trial on the penultimate stage.
Until then it seemed his compatriot and longtime leader Primoz Roglic would claim the yellow jersey, but in a notable change it was Pogacar who won the stage and took the lead of the race by 59 seconds.
Sunday's 21st stage is traditionally a processional event, with no escape attempts until the final eight circuits around the French capital begin.
Pogacar stayed safe on his bike to cross the line in triumph with his UAE Team Emirates teammates, as the stage was brilliantly won by green jersey winner Sam Bennett of Ireland, his second stage victory of the 2020 Tour.
Irishman Sam Bennett, Team Deceuninck rider, climbs to the final stage of the 107th edition of the Tour de France on the Champs-Élysées to confirm his victory in the green jersey classification.
Bennett usurped the Slovakian Peter Sagan, a seven-time winner, to top the points standings and did so with some flair, relegating world champion Mads Pedersen to second place on stage, with Sagan in third place.
"I can't tell you how excited I am," Bennett said.
«The green jersey and the Champs-Elysées, the world speed championships.
I never thought I would be able to win this stage and doing it with green is so special.
Triple for Pogacar
Not only did he claim the yellow jersey, Pogacar also sealed the King of the Mountain award and won the best junior category on his first attempt on the Tour.
1st 🇸🇮 Slovenian to win @LeTour
1st rider to dominate the overall, KOM and Best Young Rider standings in the same edition
1st rookie to win overall since 1983
Youngest winner since 1904 @ TamauPogi wrote history on # TDF2020 #TDFdata |
- letourdata (@letourdata) September 20, 2020
Roglic, who had led from stage ninth with his powerful Jumbo-Visma team as support, had to settle for second place overall, with veteran Australian Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) taking last place on the podium.
Pogacar has found it difficult to assimilate his unexpected triumph, recovering from losing more than a minute in crosswinds in the seventh stage to fight his way back into the fray and ultimately claim the yellow card.
"It is incredible to be here in Paris on the highest step of the podium," he said.
I never thought I'd be here.
It has been an incredible three week adventure.
I can't describe how I feel right now.
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Given that the global pandemic caused the race to move from its traditional July schedule, there were doubts that it would even be completed with strict hygiene measures and mandatory coronavirus tests for cyclists and their team connections.
Spectators were also limited in the finish areas, with just 5,000 allowed in the post-race podium area in Paris, usually occupied by many thousands more.
So it was, with some relief for the organizers, that after 3,400 km of intense racing, the remaining 146 riders started for the last stage and the highly contested final sprint in Paris.
Tour de France