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Roglic retains second place after first Pyrenees stage in Tour de France

Roglic retains second place after first Pyrenees stage in Tour de France

Primoz Roglic has retained his second place in the overall standings after the first Pyrenees stage in the Tour de France. In the eighth stage to Loudenvielle, the Slovenian finished in the group of favourites 6.40 minutes behind stage winner Nance Peters.

In the stage from Cazères, with the Col de Menté, the Port de Balès and the Col de Peyresourde along the way, a large leading group got established from the start and eventually fought for the stage victory. Behind this group Team Jumbo-Visma took control on the Port de Balès as Robert Gesink, George Bennett and Wout van Aert increased the pace.

On the Peyresourde Primoz Roglic tried to put the pressure on his competitors several times, but did not get away. Co-leader Tom Dumoulin didn’t feel too good during the stage and decided to support Roglic on the final climb.

“It was not an easy stage”, Roglic said. “The team has shown once again today that it is very strong. During the penultimate climb Dumoulin indicated that he would work for the team because he did not feel great. He did an excellent job, because due to his work the group quickly got smaller and smaller. It was a strong pull. We try to do our best every day to achieve the highest. I am still in a good position and the Tour takes another two weeks. Anything can happen.”

George Bennett agreed. “There will be enough mountain stages in the next two weeks. It is not necessary to gain time every day. You also have to divide your strengths and energy. The plan was to shake things up a bit on the Balès and put some pressure on. Unfortunately, Sepp paid the price a bit for his hard work in yesterday’s crosswinds. And to be honest, I am not completely one-hundred percent fit either after my crash in Nice. But I expect to be back to my old self in a few days. It was a strong team performance today. Especially Wout, Robert, Tony and Amund were outstanding and Primoz is still in a good position. Tom wasn’t feeling great. What he did for the team today also proves that he is not only a leader, but also a team player. He easily puts his own interests aside for the interest of the team. We have a goal and that is to win the Tour and it will remain the same after today. The team is in a good flow and we have a lot of confidence in it.”

Sports director Grischa Niermann also saw it that way. “Nothing has been lost today. The stage did not go quite as we had in mind before the stage with Tom losing time. But after eight days we are still where we want to be. It’s a pity that Pogacar has taken back some of his time he lost yesterday, but it is what it is. There are still plenty of tough days ahead.”

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