Regular readers of this website will remember that my preview of this years race was based around my memories of 1989. Something that hindsight has proved to be good punditry!
There was little sign of what happened on stage 20 coming to pass, even as the two main protagonists, Tadej Pogacar and yellow jersey Primoz Roglic warmed up ahead of the start of their time trials.
But Pogacar was gaining time from the start and at the first unofficial GPS tracking check was already 12 seconds closer to his Slovenian counterpart.
This fast start from his opponent seemed to freak Roglic out and he was starting to fold before our very eyes.
As they both started to climb the Planch des Belles Filles and swapped bikes there was very little to choose between them on GC time. This was pheomenal as Pogacar had had to go a minute quicker to that point to get back level.
Once the guy in 2nd had overhauled the erstwhile yellow jersey to take the race lead he kept that pace up and stretched out almost another minute which was enough to leave him a comfortable winner in GC.
Maybe it wasn’t as close as the 1989 finish as I led you to believe then!
The pictures of Roglic struggling up the 20% gradient to the finish line with his face all sunken in and his crash helmet wonky to the point of looking comical was sad to see.
He rolled alone over the finish line before Tom Dumoulin and Wout Van Aert tried to comfort him. Just along the road from this sad sight Pogacar also has his head in his hands, but in disbelief and joy.
I feel a mighty amount of sympathy for Roglic to lose in this way and for him to go to bed without his yellow jersey, but with a broken heart. It was wretched for him and I wonder where he goes from here.
It says a lot about him as a man though, that he congratulated the man who beat him so soundly and that he was front and centre riding into Paris on Sunday. A much lesser man would have hid.
The final stage was less about drinking booze on the run in to Paris, another feature of this Covid world. Sam Bennett was the winner proving that his green jersey was thoroughly deserved (as if we doubted him!) and that he was the fastest man of the race.
Sorry Caleb and Wout!
So that’s it for the 2020 Tour de France, thanks very much for sticking with my coverage of the race. I really hoped you enjoyed reading how I saw it, please tell your friends and buy a Beers of Belgium CC jersey (using the store password of “FENDRIEN” ahead of the classics !
Here is the final top 10 on GC from www.procyclingstats.com
|1||POGAČAR Tadej||UAE-Team Emirates||87:20:05|
|2||ROGLIČ Primož||Team Jumbo-Visma||0:59|
|3||DOOR Richie||Trek – Segafredo||3:30|
|4||LANDA Mikel||Bahrain – McLaren||5:58|
|5||MAS Enric||Movistar Team||6:07|
|6||LÓPEZ Miguel Ángel||Astana Pro Team||6:47|
|7||DUMOULIN Tom||Team Jumbo-Visma||7:48|
|8||URÁN Rigoberto||EF Pro Cycling||8:02|
|10||CARUSO Damiano||Bahrain – McLaren||14:03|