Pogacar crashes, Vingegaard wobbles on descent of Spandelles

Tadej Pogacar goes down on a descent, as captured on Twitter video by Tour de France
Tadej Pogacar goes down on a descent, as captured on Twitter video by Tour de France (Image credit: Tour de France)

Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) and race leader Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) put each other under pressure on the descent of the category one Col de Spandelles, so much so with high speeds that Vingegaard was the first to swerve and almost crash, and shortly thereafter Pogačar lost it and crashed into the right-side gutter.

When Pogačar went down, quickly remounting, Vingegaard could be seen glancing backwards and then slowing his pace to allow his main competitor to rejoin. 

Once the best young rider rejoined the yellow jersey, the two shook hands in a sign of good sportsmanship, and resumed the chase to the lead group - Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) and Dani Martínez (Ineos Grenadiers) - two minutes ahead on the swooping descent that led to the final Pyrenean climb of Hautacam. 

The duo would ride together to the front of the race, with Sepp Kuss taking on pacing duties on the lower slopes of the Hautacam. Then it was Van Aert who took over and ramped up the pace with 4.3km to go, he and Vingegaard dropping Pogačar and launching the Dane to victory.

Back on the chaotic descent before the final fireworks, TV cameras caught both instances when the favourites nearly wiped out on the narrow road. The scare for Vingegaard came as he was riding behind Pogačar, his wheels seeming skidding and he unclipped his left foot to remain upright. 

Just two kilometres later, Pogačar went wide on the outside of a corner and slid sideways into the ditch. It was not a high speed crash, and he regained his composure and rejoined Vingegaard straight away.

"I dropped my chain, then I tried to pedal," Vingegaard said after the race. "Of course, you don't have friction on the chain and my back wheel slipped. It was a bit of a scare for me, but I was able to make it back to Tadej and I'm happy about that.

"I think Tadej went a bit too quick into one corner and he missed it a bit and then he was out in the ditch with some gravel and then tried to get back on the road. That was unfortunate for Tadej but, of course, I waited for him."

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Jackie Tyson