Pogacar pulls cold blood to prevail over Gaudu and Vingegaard and lead at the end of Paris-Nice

“We’ll try to make him go fast and we’ll try to win the stage.” And the one who warns is not a traitor… They are the words of Tadej Pogacar in the minutes before the departure of the seventh stage of Paris-Nice, which gave way to a hot day to leave behind the strong winds that forced the cancellation of the day last Friday. The Slovenian kept his word and, with a A more cerebral version than usual, he beat a David Gaudu at the top of the Col de la Couillole in a new one-on-one sprint spectacular with which the general of the Carrera del Sol will be played tomorrow. In this struggle it has not yet been ruled out Jonas Vingegaard, but the Dane, who here is not as well provided with squires as in the Tour de France, is a dot below the Slovenian and the French when the road looks at the sky. So things, pogi He will defend 12 seconds of rent over Groupama FDJ and 58 against Jumbo.

On a short route of 143 km, an early breakaway was formed that initially consisted of seven riders and soon doubled in size. As a Spanish representative, he slipped Javier Romo, who signed a great day of cycling. The long, but stretched, Côte de Tourette-du-Château loomed as the only mountainous difficulty in the first third of the race, so we could practically speak of a one-port stage. Before reaching that point, an illustrious man like Mads Pedersen, that he could give a lot of show this Sunday, he withdrew from the test. The advantage of the escapees was controlled at all times in a squad that the Ineos team commanded for a good part of the day. With more than 30 km to go, we were already talking about a select group of chosen ones, more than a peloton…

And the Col de la Couillole arrived, where the immolation of the Ineos team. After taking on the breakaway chase for many minutes, hardening the pace in the peloton, Dani Martínez was off the hook at the first exchange, more than 12 km from the top. Goodbye to your podium options. Tobias Foss was to blame in large part, who fulfilled his role as Vingegaard’s right-hand man to perfection. His rhythm made the runners fall from pure mature in the group of chosen ones, but the The Norwegian’s pace was by no means harmful to the yellow jersey. The Jumbo formation, which was full of sprinters thinking of getting the race on track in the team time trial, was not ideal for Vingegaard’s interests on a day like this.

Even so, Pogacar was isolated in the first bars of the ascent, with Bjerg and Grobschartner as his last squires. About 9 km from the end, the last survivors, Kobe Goossens and a courageous Romo, were neutralized. At just over 4 miles, Harper lit the firecrackers and Vingegaard picked up the gauntlet: Foss moved out of the way and the Dane decided to speed up. He set the pace for 500 meters, but then… it happened again. Pogacar countered furiously and opened a small gap. Behind were Vingegaard, Gaudu, Bardet and a fantastic Jorgenson, but it was these last two who got off the hook in the first instance. Against all odds, when everything seemed resolved, Gaudu decided to collaborate minimally with Jonas and Pogacar raised his foot to join them.

Everything was decided in the final meters. Vingegaard, who came down, connected again in the last kilometer. His gesture, twisted, gave him away. It was not his day. Until then we saw the most cerebral version of Pogacar: He dampened the pace, without primed himself, he let Gaudu do it, and when Vingegaard started from a distance to try to surprise, he sprinted to win as he wanted. Second stage win for pogi in this Paris-Nice, which will be decided this Sunday with the classic closing of the Col d’Eze between him and Gaudu by a handful of seconds. Emotion to the end.

Results of the 7th stage

1st Tadej Pogacar (UAE) – 3h 56:08

2nd David Gaudu (Groupama FDJ) – at 2″

3rd Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo) – 6″

4th Simon Yates (Jayco) – 19″

5th Neilson Powless (EF Education) – 24″

General of the 81st Paris-Nice

1º Tadej Pogacar (UAE) – 17h 14:52

2nd David Gaudu (Groupama) – at 12″

3rd Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo) – 58″

4th Simon Yates (Jayco) – 1:27

13th david de la cruz (Astana) – 6:15

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