Jonas Vingegaard seals epic stage win at Tour de France and takes lead off Tadej Pogacar

UAE Team Emirates rider and defending champion wilts in heat and drops down to third in general classification

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Jonas Vingegaard produced a sensational performance to win Stage 11 of the Tour de France on Tuesday and take the yellow jersey off Tadej Pogacar.

Last year's runner-up launched his attack 4.9 kilometres from the finish to drop Pogacar, who had been put under relentless pressure by the Dane's Jumbo-Visma team all day long.

The overnight leader and defending champion looked exhausted as he crossed the finish line following a gruelling ascent of Col du Granon in the southern Alps.

The UAE Team Emirates rider could finish only seventh, two minutes and 51 seconds behind Vingegaard, who produced a stunning mountain ride that left Pogacar gasping in his wake.

Colombian Nairo Quintana finished in second spot with Frenchman Romain Bardet third.

"I got attacked by Team Jumbo-Visma, they played it well today. Tactically, they did a really good job. In the last climb, it was difficult. But we will see tomorrow, I want revenge. Le Tour is not over." said Pogacar.

Vingegaard now leads the general classification, more than two minutes clear of Bardet and Pogacar, who drops down to third.

“I think it's really incredible and hard for me to put in words,” Vingegaard said. “This is what I have dreamt of, always a stage in the Tour and now the yellow jersey.

“We made a plan from the start of the day, and obviously, you could see what the plan was; we wanted to make it a super hard race."

Pogacar looked in control in the Col du Telegraphe and the lung-busting Col du Galibier, even winking at the cameras before the final ascent, a much-dreaded 11.3km climb at 9.2 per cent to the Col du Granon.

But Vingegaard's brutal acceleration wiped the smile off the Slovenian's face and Pogacar suddenly opened his jersey trying to get some air before seeing Geraint Thomas, David Gaudu and Adam Yates ride past him in the finale.

The Dane reaped the rewards of his earlier attacks and the moves of Primoz Roglic, who sacrificed his own chances in a risk-it-all strategy by Jumbo-Visma.

"The team were fantastic, especially Primoz [Roglic. He's one of the leaders and he did everything. He showed how generous he is. He's such a great rider. Winning a tour stage and wear the yellow jersey is what I've always dreamt off.

"Tadej is probably the best rider in the world. Taking the yellow jersey from him is incredible. He will do everything he can to reclaim it and I'll do everything to keep it."

And Pogocar agreed, insisting that all is not lost and that he would be fighting back hard, despite losing George Bennett and Vegard Stake Laengen to Covid-19 in recent days.

"On Galibier I still felt really good. I got a lot of attacking from Jumbo, they were really good today," Pogacar said. "Then on the last climb, I don't know, I didn't have a good final day.

"They [Jumbo-Visma] played it really smart. For us it's really hard to control who goes in the breakaway because we are not many guys any more.

"It's not over yet. I lose today three minutes, maybe tomorrow I gain three minutes. I'll keep fighting until the end."

Stage 11 results

1. Jonas Vingegaard (DEN) Jumbo-Visma 4hrs 18mins 02secs

2. Nairo Quintana (COL) Arkea Samsic) +59secs

3. Romain Bardet (FRA) DSM +1min 10secs

4. Geraint Thomas (GBR) Ineos Grenadiers +1min 38secs

5. David Gaudu (FRA) Groupama-FDJ +2mins 04se

6. Adam Yates (GBR) Ineos Grenadiers +2mins 10secs

7. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) UAE Team Emirates +2mins 51secs

General classification

1. Jonas Vingegaard (DEN) Jumbo-Visma) 41hrs 29mins 59secs

2. Romain Bardet (FRA) DSM +2mins 16secs

3. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) UAE Team Emirates +2mins 22secs

4. Geraint Thomas (GBR) Ineos Grenadiers +2mins 26secs

5. Nairo Quintana (COL) Arkea Samsic +2mins 37secs

Updated: July 13, 2022, 9:05 PM
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