Primož Roglič and Tadej Pogačar, the first- and second-placed riders in this year’s Tour de France, braved what was the final tough stage in the Alps on Thursday without major difficulties, reaffirming the likelihood of a historic double Slovenian victory in the general classification.
Finishing fourth in today’s 168km stage from Meribel to La Roche-sur-Forontoday in a group arriving just under two minutes behind stage winner Michal Kwiatkowski of Poland, Roglič retained the yellow jersey and his 57 seconds lead on Pogačar.
Pogačar, the best young rider at the Tour, was fifth today. He lost his polka dot jersey of the best climber to Ecuadorian rider Richard Carapaz, who finished second today.
With a relatively easy stage scheduled for Friday and the final stage to Paris on Sunday, the winner of this year’s Tour is likely to be determined in Saturday’s 36-kilometre time trail with a summit finish at Planche des Belles Filles.
Roglič and Pogačar are both considered strong time trial riders, stronger than Colombia’s Miguel Angel Lopez, who is placed third, one minute and 27 seconds behind Roglič.