Roglic strengthens Tour lead as Bernal struggles

Puy Mary (France), September 11

Primoz Roglic tightened his grip on the Tour de France general lead as he dropped defending champion Egan Bernal within the closing ascent of a gruelling 13th stage within the Massif Central on Friday.

Colombian Dani Martinez prevailed from the breakaway on the finish of a punishing 191.5-km trek from Chatel-Guyon earlier than the large weapons battled it out within the finale of the brief, but brutal climb as much as the Puy de Mary, the place the common gradient rose above 11 per cent.

Ineos-Grenadiers Colombian chief Bernal, who fares higher on longer ascents, couldn’t maintain the tempo when Tadej Pogacar accelerated, with fellow Slovenian Roglic the one rider capable of observe.

The duo crossed the road 38 seconds forward of a grimacing Bernal, who slipped to 3rd within the common classification, 59 seconds off the tempo.

The 21-year-old Pogacar, probably the most aggressive of the principle contenders who was already the very best man within the Pyrenees final weekend, is now second, 44 seconds behind Roglic.

Friday’s stage signalled the tip of French hopes as Romain Bardet, who began the day in fourth place general 30 seconds off the tempo, ended up 2:30 behind Roglic after the 2016 runner-up took a heavy tumble earlier.

Guillaume Martin, third general at first, cracked within the penultimate climb and crossed the road 2:46 after Roglic.

Bardet and Martin are actually simply exterior the highest 10, 3:00 and three:14 behind Roglic, respectively.

Martinez, who featured among the many darkish horses earlier than the beginning in Nice after successful the Criterium du Dauphine however misplaced all hopes within the first week, outsprinted Lennard Kamna for the stage win.

Kamna’s Bora-Hansgrohe staff mate and fellow German Maximilian Schachmann took third place. Reuters

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