Tour de France 2020: Tadej Pogacar, a kid made history

“We witnessed the birth of a great champion”. In all languages, Greg LeMond comments on the feat of Tadej Pogacar, Saturday, September 19, who stole the yellow jersey from his compatriot Primoz Roglic. The American is particularly well placed to judge, he who, in 1989, snatched victory for eight seconds from Frenchman Laurent Fignon in the ultimate time trial, thus offering the United States the second Tour de France of their story.

→ DOSSIER. Tour de France 2020: all the information to follow this 107e editing

Sunday, September 20, it is Tadej Pocagar’s turn to brandish the first Slovenian bouquet, in front of the president of his country, Borut Pahor, expected on the Champs-Élysées.

Rather, we expected Roglic on the Champs-Élysées

At the time of his triumph in 1989, Greg LeMond was 28 years old, the age of maturity it was thought at the time. Tadej Pogacar will blow out his 22 candles this Monday 21, after having achieved one of the greatest sporting exploits of recent years.

→ READ. Tour de France 2020: Tadej Pogacar wins the 20th stage and takes the yellow jersey

Last year, we thought we had seen everything with the coronation at 22 of Colombian Egan Bernal, who seemed set to crush the big towers under his wheels. Victim of a mysterious back pain, Egan Bernal abandoned the 2020 edition along the way. Leaving the field open to a 100% Slovenian mano a mano between Primoz Roglic and Tadej Pogacar.

On the Champs-Élysées, we expected rather the “old” Primoz Roglic (30 years old), almost a minute ahead of the time trial of La Planche des Belles Filles on Saturday 19. Everything was in place to tell again and again the great adventure of this former ski jumper, deprived of titles by the aftermath of a spectacular fall and knocking late on the door of a cycling club to learn everything about cycling. “Its story has almost become a national legend”, Slovenian journalist Polona Bertoncelj told Thursday September 17 in The cross.

Sport, a Slovenian diplomatic weapon

Two days later, the story is quite different. It perfectly illustrates the desire of Slovenia, a country of 2 million inhabitants, to carve out a place for itself in the world thanks to its athletes, first skiers or basketball players, and now cyclists.

→ ROUTE. Tour de France 2020: the map of stages

Tadej Pogacar is the pure product of a detection policy put in place by his federation at the beginning of the 2010s. Spotted at 10 years old during a stress test as hundreds of them were then organized in schools, this child of the middle class – her mother is a French teacher and her father is an industrial designer – is immediately taken care of by the best national coaches.

Founded by the Slovenian Andrej Hauptman, currently sports director of the UAE Emirates team, of which he wears the colors, the young Tadej has never betrayed the hopes that were placed in him. Winner of his first national race at 13, of the famous Tour of the Future, the antechamber of champions, at 18, he began to wreak havoc in the professional peloton in 2019. Last year, he won , at 20, the Tour of the Algarve and the Tour of California. As well as three mountain stages in the Tour of Spain, with third place in the final classification, won by Primoz Roglic.

A form of recklessness

As much as Roglic is reasonable and frugal with his efforts and his words, Pogacar is chatty and always inclined to attack. A form of recklessness, undoubtedly dictated by the absence of obstacles on his young course, allowed him to multiply the solitary blows, when his eldest remained well sheltered from his teammates, protected by his powerful Jumbo-Visma team.

→ ANALYSIS. Tour de France 2020: Roglic-Pogacar, two Slovenians at the top

Upon arrival, on Saturday, the youngest had a kind and visibly sincere word for his elder: “I have enormous respect for him, he is a friend, and I am sad for him”. While projecting in a rather relaxed way. Of course things will change but I want to stay the same, train and run with the same mindset. I’m just a kid from Slovenia with two sisters and a brother. I like to have fun, to appreciate life in its little things ”.


Like Cadel Evans in 2011

By stealing the yellow jersey from an opponent the last night before the finish on the Champs-Élysées, Tadej Pogacar took the wheel of Cadel Evans. The Australian had played the same bad
Luxembourgish Andy Schleck’s turn in 2011. Here too, the Tour de France was played at the end of a time trial, organized around Grenoble, on the Saturday before arriving in Paris.



→ The results of the day: The complete classification of the 21e and laststage of the Tour de France 2020

→ The general classification: Find the final general classification of the Tour de France 2020


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