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Tour de France: Van Aert wins stage 11; Pogacar retains lead

AP/Malaucene (France)
Filed on July 7, 2021
UAE Team Emirates' Tadej Pogacar (yellow) of Slovenia during the 11th stage of the Tour de France. (AFP)

Pogacar leads Colombian Uran of EF Education by 5min 18sec

Raucous crowds cheered Wout van Aert to a frantic stage 11 win on the Tour de France on Wednesday after a double ascent of Mont Ventoux.

UAE Team Emirates leader Tadej Pogacar retained the overall lead by more than five minutes over his pursuers.

Exultant Jumbo rider Van Aert crossed the summit of ‘the Giant of Provence’ alone in his Belgian champion’s shirt on a baking day.

“There’s loads of Belgians here,” said Van Aert, who played to the crowds bending his ear to their acclamation.

“It’s my best victory ever,” said Van Aert, who finally reaped his reward, after his attacking riding helped light the Tour fuse on the opening stages.

On this iconic climb, where Tom Simpson died in 1967 and where Eddy Merckx, Marco Pantani and Chris Froome climbed to memorable wins, Van Aert’s effort was magnificent.

Behind him his teammate Jonas Vingegaard climbed into the top three, crossing the line in a small group that included Pogacar, Rigoberto Uran and Richard Carapaz.

Pogacar leads Colombian Uran of EF Education by 5min 18sec, Dane Vingegaard is third 14 seconds further back and a second ahead of Ecuadorian Carapaz of Ineos.

Vingegaard dropped Pogacar after a struggle over the final 3km of the last ascent, only for the Slovenian’s group to catch up on the 25km descent.

“I couldn’t follow him, the heat, Ineos, there was a lot going on,” said a cool and relaxed looking Pogacar at the finish line.

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