The 2020 Tour de France continues with the brutal 170km stage from Grenoble to Méribel (Col de La Loze) - the highest point of this year's Tour.
The 24-year-old crossed the finish line on his own, taking his maiden victory in the French race, after earlier in the season he had also won in the Criterium du Dauphine.
Canada's Hugo Houle, a support rider for the Astana Pro Team, finished 57th in the stage.
Yesterday's stage started after organisers announced that all of the cyclists had tested negative for Covid-19 in the final round of tests. Rigoberto Uran of Colombia remained in third place over all, 1 minute 34 seconds off the pace.
Pogacar said he bided his time and just kept up.
Defending champion Egan Bernal has withdrawn from the Tour de France ahead of stage 17, Team Ineos said on Wednesday.
"In the last climb it switched to my knee". "We see everyone is exhausted". A big group formed the escape of the day and included Julian Alaphilippe, Andrey Amador, Sebastian Reichenbach, Lennard Kämna, Richard Carapaz and Quentin Pacher, among others.
Ineos had instead pinned their hopes on a stage win, with Andrey Amador and Pavel Sivakov joining Carapaz in a large group that was allowed up the road. When I saw Carapaz slowing down I said to myself it was the moment to go.
This victory is also a very big relief for me and the team, I still can not believe it. I can nearly not imagine it. The step forward I made this year is huge and I'm so blessed to win today. Anyone who tests positive has to leave the race which affected race director Christian Prudhomme last week and any team with two or more positive tests within seven days also has to abandon.
No rider has tested positive for the coronavirus so far, with the world's greatest cycling race on schedule to parade up the Champs Elysees in Paris on Sunday.