Tour de France: Jonas Vingaard is getting closer to the first title after moving away from defending champion Tadej Pogacar | Cycling News

Jonas Vingaard leads closest rival Tadej Pogacar by 3 minutes 26 seconds after stage 18 of the Tour de France; Dane waits for Pogacar then shakes his hand after the two-time defending champion crashed earlier on Thursday’s mountain stage; Briton Geraint Thomas in third place

Last update: 07/21/22 5:34 p.m.

Jonas Vingaard leads closest rival Tadej Pogacar by more than three minutes with three stages to go in the Tour de France

Jonas Vingaard responded to a series of attacks from defending champion Tadej Pogacar on the final major mountain stage of this year’s Tour de France to edge closer to a first title.

Vingegaard then claimed a second stage victory of the race – following its success at the Col du Granon last week in the Alps – with Pogacar crossing the line more than a minute behind its rival.

With just one big test left before the race reaches Paris – a 41-kilometre time trial scheduled for Saturday – the Jumbo-Visma Vingegaard rider looks set to end up with the yellow jersey on Sunday.

The Dane leads Pogacar by 3 minutes 26 seconds, with Briton Geraint Thomas third, eight minutes behind Vingegaard.

Pogacar’s Slovenian race faded out about four kilometers from the finish during Thursday’s 18th stage.

Earlier in the stage, Pogacar pulled away from the tarmac and crashed into the gravel, but Vingaard chose not to take advantage, waiting for his rival to return and accepting a handshake.

Vingeard said: “It’s amazing. I told my girlfriend and my daughter this morning that I wanted to win for them and I did. This one is for my two daughters back home.

“I think (Pogacar) missed a corner then he got into some gravel, he tried to get it out and the bike disappeared under him. Then I waited for him.

“I don’t want to talk about (the overall title) yet. There’s also tomorrow and the day after tomorrow and then we’re in Paris, so let’s talk about it in two days.”

Also on Thursday, it was announced that four-time champion Chris Froome had withdrawn from the remainder of the race after testing positive for Covid-19.

Sky Sports

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