Pogacar becomes youngest Tour de France champ in over 100 years

Slovenian rider Tadej Pogacar of the UAE Team Emirates rides past the Louvre Museum during the 21st and last stage of the Tour de France 2020 cycling race over 122km from Mantes-La-Jolie to Paris, France, on Sunday. Picture: EPA

Starting two months late due to the global pandemic, the race set off under strict health guidelines in Nice with doubts it would make it all the way to Paris.

Slovenian rookie Tadej Pogacar won the Tour de France on Sunday, riding triumphantly into Paris in the race leader’s yellow jersey at just 21 years old.

Pogacar became the Tour’s youngest champion since 1904 as Ireland’s Sam Bennett won the 21st and final stage after the eight-lap dash around the iconic Champs-Elysees to clinch the green sprint points jersey.

The Tour will forever be remembered for a dramatic last-gasp turnaround as Pogacar grabbed the overall lead when his rival Primoz Roglic suffered a mountainside meltdown on the penultimate day.

This storied edition of the century-old race packed with thrills and spills will be equally recalled for outsprinting the dark shadow of Covid-19.

Starting two months late due to the global pandemic, the race set off under strict health guidelines in Nice with doubts it would make it all the way to Paris.

But after 3,400km of intense racing the 146 remaining riders embarked Sunday for a parade of the winners until the hotly-disputed sprint in Paris.

The race was a triumph of organisation after the French president gave them the green light to belatedly stage the event, although just 5,000 fans lined Sunday’s finish due to the health protocol.

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