Sport

Excursion de France: Pogacar concludes yellow jersey glory as Bennett wins in Paris

Tadej Pogacar completed his stunning Tour de France triumph in Paris as Sam Bennett celebrated taking the green jersey with victory on the Champs-Elysees.

Pogacar thrillingly overhauled fellow Slovenian Primoz Roglic in Saturday’s individual time trial to head into the final, largely ceremonial stage in the French capital bedecked in the famous yellow.

The 21-year-old UAE Team Emirates rider is the youngest winner of the Tour since 1904, while he also claimed the King of the Mountains polka dot jersey and the white jersey for the best rider aged 25 or under.

As is customary in Paris, one final moment of glory for the sprinters who have managed to toil through the mountains remained up for grabs and Bennett concluded a triumphant race in style.

The Irishman of Deceuninck-Quick-Step was already secure at the top of the points category after Peter Sagan did not contest the intermediate sprint.

Sagan was among the big hitters in contention for cycling’s most famous sprint finish, obviously shorn of its usual bustling crowds, but none of them could live with Bennett who powered clear.

Pogacar concluded a life-altering three weeks shortly afterwards to rubber stamp his success on the day before his 22nd birthday.

The defeated Roglic and Australia’s Richie Porte completed the podium behind cycling’s newest breakout superstar.

POGACAR WOULD HAVE BEEN HAPPY WITH SECOND OR LAST

Pogacar’s triumph has proved as popular with the peloton as it was surprising, and the youngster lapped up an unforgettable moment of sporting triumph.

“It’s unbelievable, it’s really crazy. Even if I had come second or last it would still be nice to be here,” he said. “But this is the top of the top. I cannot describe this feeling with words. Today was very special, a special moment with my team-mates. Finally some chance to talk with them on the bike and not just going full gas every day.

“A lot of respect to all the riders, I think every single one of them congratulated me. This sport is really amazing.”

BENNETT REVELS IN UNIMAGINABLE VICTORY

The proud owner of the green jersey matched his counterpart in yellow in terms of joy and wonder.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am. The green jersey, the Champs-Elysees, world championships of sprints … I never thought I’d ever be able to in this sage,” Bennett said. “And to do it in green, with my dream team is so special. The way the boys rode all day, they were fantastic. The feeling is so amazing, I can’t thank everyone enough.”

STAGE RESULT 
 1. Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 2:53:32
 2. Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo)
 3. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe)
 4. Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates)
 5. Elia Viviani (Cofidis)

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification
 1. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 87:20:05
 2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +0:59
 3. Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) +3:30

Points Classification
 1. Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 380
 2. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 284
 3. Matteo Trentin (CCC) 260

King of the Mountains
 1. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 82
 2. Richard Carapaz (Team INEOS) 74
 3. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 67

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