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Roglic is thrilled to extend his Tour lead over Bernal

 

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Primoz Roglic

Primoz Roglic

AP

Primoz Roglic

Primoz Roglic stamped his authority on the Tour de France as defending champion Egan Bernal slipped back on a punishing stage 13 to the summit on Puy Mary.

After Dani Martinez claimed his first career Tour stage win in something of a slow-motion sprint with Lennard Kamna from a breakaway, gradients nearing 20% carved up the general classification when the main contenders arrived a little over six minutes later.

In what is becoming a common pattern in this Tour, Roglic followed an attack from his close friend and fellow Slovenian Tadej Pogacar late on the 191.5km stage from Chatel-Guyon, and together they put 38 seconds into Bernal.

The result is that Jumbo-Visma's Roglic is looking ever more comfortable in yellow, while Pogacar climbs above Bernal into second place, now 44 seconds back and ruing 81 seconds lost in crosswinds on stage seven.

"It was a really nice day, I'm super happy," Roglic said. "As long as you can gain time every second is to your advantage.

"I'm really happy at the end, we were two Slovenians at the top. It's not just me, I have the jersey, but our whole team - everyone needs to do his job - and altogether so far we're doing a really nice race."

Though Roglic has looked the stronger rider throughout the Tour so far, this was the first time he had definitively dropped Bernal - until now what had been a 21-second gap between them was all derived from bonus seconds.

Now the Colombian's deficit stands at 59 seconds and the 23-year-old had to admit he simply could not keep up as he handed the best young rider's jersey over to Pogacar.

"I did my best, but the others were stronger than I was," Bernal said.

"I couldn't do more than this. I felt very good all day.

"I looked at my numbers from today's stage and they were almost my best ever. The rest simply went faster. We have to see what will happen in the coming days."

Adam Yates sits seventh, one minute and 42 seconds down, having doggedly stuck with the main group of contenders as long as he could despite saying earlier this week he was seeking opportunities to lose time and so gain freedom to seek stage victories.

Belfast Telegraph