Slovenia's Tadej Pogacar stuns compatriot Primoz Roglic to lead Tour de France

Slovenian rookie Tadej Pogacar wins Tour de France Aussie Richie Porte seals podium place

Slovenia's Tadej Pogacar stuns compatriot Primoz Roglic to lead Tour de France

When the Tour, delayed because of the epidemic from its usual spot in July, left the start town of Nice three weeks ago, it was unsure that enough riders would be able to stay virus-free for the race to reach Paris.

The Tasmanian becomes just the second Australian to finish on the Tour podium in Paris after Cadel Evans won the race in 2011.

It's a scene that is familiar to all cycling fans from years gone by, but rendered eerie by the near-total absence of cheering crowds, particularly noticeable at Norwegian Corner opposite the Joan of Arc statue on the Rue de Rivoli and around the Arc de Triomphe.

Pogacar's win, which comes on the eve of his 22nd birthday, is historic for a number of reasons.

Pogacar, who is set to become the youngest victor of the Tour since Henri Cornet in 1904, clocked 55 minutes 55 seconds - the perfection of the numbers matching his performance.

With jets trailing plumes of red, white and blue smoke above the riders as they raced through Paris, on the Champs-Elysees lined with French tricolor flags, the Tour was also celebrating a victory - over the coronavirus.

Bennett beat world champion Mads Pedersen in a sprint finish to take his second stage win of the Tour, having already wrapped up the points classification at the intermediate sprint of the 122km stage from Mantes-la-Jolie.

The Irishman has a lead of 55 points over Peter Sagan - victor of the green jersey a record seven times - and could have the classification wrapped up by the intermediate sprint on the run in to Paris, which would leave him free to concentrate on a potential stage win on the Champs-Elysees.

The UAE-Team Emirates rider overhauled a 57-second deficit to Roglic, who was thought to be a far stronger rider on Stage 20's time trial to La Planche des Belles Filles.

It has been a long journey, which began well before we started in Nice and has ended in the most handsome way.

Pogacar had dedicated his second win on the tour to Urska Zigart, his 23-year-old girlfriend who is a professional cyclist for UCI's women's team.

"I can't tell you how excited I am", Bennett said. It was a pleasure to experience this, with all my teammates and staff members by my side, the challenges that the Tour offered up every day, trying to always remain calm and, at the same time, concentrated. I am really thankful.

"Getting the yellow jersey on the final day, we were dreaming of it since the start". It was exciting to receive the compliments of so many riders in the bunch.

Cycling is a attractive sport.

"I feel sorry for the guys and everyone, but I didn't do it on goal". "The green jersey and the Champs-Elysees, the world championships of sprinting".

It's the best victory of my career.

"For sure there is a big analysis to make, but for the moment, I don't have a clear head and it's hard to think".

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