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Pogacar (left) pipped Vingegaard to extend his lead over the Danish rider to 35 seconds

Defending champion Tadej Pogacar beat Jonas Vingegaard in a thrilling finish to stage seven as he extended his overall lead at the Tour de France.

Pogacar surged past the Dane in the last 20 metres as he claimed his second consecutive stage victory.

Lennard Kamna had looked set to win but Pogacar and Vingegaard swept by on final section of the punishing climb at La Super Planche des Belles Filles.

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Primoz Roglic, the 2020 runner-up, finished third with Kamna fourth.

Britain’s Geraint Thomas, who won the Tour in 2018, conceded 14 seconds as he finished alongside the German, but will take heart after being well positioned throughout the concluding 7km climb that culminated with a 24% gradient and a gravel stretch to the line.

The Ineos Grenadiers rider moves to third in the general classification, one minute 10 seconds behind Pogacar and 35 seconds behind Jumbo-Visma’s Vingegaard.

Despair for Kamna, delight for Pogacar

Kamna was the sole survivor of an 11-man breakaway on the 176.5km stage from Tomblaine, and appeared capable of holding on for a famous victory until the GC race behind him ignited in the final kilometre.

The Bora-Hansgrohe rider was caught on the final bend as Pogacar attacked, and then saw Vingegaard accelerate past him.

Pogacar’s response, fighting back superbly with a kick to line, underlined why he has been installed as favourite to win a third consecutive edition of the race.

“It was really, really difficult, especially in the last part where Jonas [Vingegaard] attacked – he was so strong,” said UAE Team Emirates rider Pogacar.

“But I said yeah, my boys were working all day so I had to push to the finish line. It was a really special day.

“We opened a foundation today for cancer research, so I wore special shoes just for today, and I’m really happy and proud to take this win on Planche des Belle Filles.”

Britain’s Adam Yates remains fourth in the GC standings, with team-mate Tom Pidcock dropping to seventh overall.

While Aleksandr Vlasov, the leader of the Bora-Hansgrohe team and American Neilson Powless of EF Education-EasyPost who had started the stage second overall, lost significant ground, Roglic’s performance, two days after he dislocated his shoulder on stage five, sees him climb 15 places to 13th overall.

Stage seven results

1. Tadej Pogacar (Slo/UAE Team Emirates) 3hrs 58mins 40secs

2. Jonas Vingegaard (Den/Jumbo-Visma) Same time

3. Primoz Roglic (Slo/Jumbo-Visma) +12 secs

4. Lennard Kamna (Ger/Bora-Hansgrohe) +14secs

5. Geraint Thomas (GB/Ineos Grenadiers) Same time

6. David Gaudu (Fra/Groupama/FDJ) +19secs

7. Enric Mas (Spa/Movistar) +21secs

8. Romain Bardet (Fra/DSM) Same time

9. Adam Yates (GB/Ineos Grenadiers) +29secs

10. Sepp Kuss (US/Jumbo-Visma) +41secs

General classification after stage seven

1. Tadej Pogacar (Slo/UAE Team Emirates) 23hrs 43mins 14secs

2. Jonas Vingegaard (Den/Jumbo-Visma) +35 secs

3. Geraint Thomas (GB/Ineos Grenadiers) +1mins 10secs

4. Adam Yates (GB/Ineos Grenadiers) +1mins 18secs

5. David Gaudu (Fra/Groupama-FDJ) +1mins 31secs

6. Romain Bardet (Fra/DSM) +1mins 32secs

7. Tom Pidcock (GB/Ineos Grenadiers) +1mins 35secs

8. Neilson Powless (US/EF Education-EasyPost +1mins 37secs

9. Enric Mas (Spa/Movistar) +1mins 43secs

10. Daniel Martinez (Col/Ineos Grenadiers) +1mins 55secs

SOURCE: BBC Sport – Cycling RSS   (go to source)
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