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Less than three weeks on, the ending to the 2020 Tour de France still barely seems real. Tadej Pogačar demolishing the field in the stage 20 time trial and Primož Roglič slipping back from what seemed his impregnable lead to concede victory to his younger compatriot.
Relive the thrilling ending to the Tour, and the rest of the action, in the latest issue of Procycling magazine. There are features on both Pogačar and Roglič, along with interviews with Richie Porte and Sam Bennett, and a roundup of this year's edition of La Course. Alongside this, there are also recaps of every stage, and journals from different parts of the race.
Procycling's editor Edward Pickering wrote about the Tour as a whole: “Nobody will ever know exactly how the Tour was lost for Roglič. But we knew roughly when. The Slovenian rider rode down the starting ramp of the Planche time trial as a yellow jersey and anointed champion; he struggled up the final ramps a broken man. He looked like sh*t, Roglič, in those final few kilometres. The impression he gave in the earlier mountain stages was of focused, controlled, seated power. Now he was awkwardly standing on his pedals, all knees and elbows, his face pale with shock.”
Tadej Pogačar's last-ditch victory in the Tour came the day before his 22nd birthday, on his first start in the race and only his second grand tour ever, and saw him win two stages, as well as the yellow, polka dot and white jerseys.
Alasdair Fotheringham was in France to profile Pogačar: “That absence of pressure extended deep into the time trial. It wasn’t just that nobody batted an eyelid when Pogačar rode without a power meter, or that he spent Friday evening watching the mechanics build up a white bike for his parade into Paris. He already knew that even if he fell apart on the road to the Planche des Belles Filles, he had achieved enough for the Tour.”
Richie Porte was one of the stars of the Tour, finally finishing on the podium in Paris on his 10th attempt, and in the last time he would be racing as a general classification leader. In an interview with Sophie Hurcom, the Australian talked about the relief of finishing third, and the freedom with which he raced.
Porte said: “Even this year in the Tour when we had disasters that could have ruined everything, I was able to salvage it which in past years I haven't been able to do. It’s a great feeling to be able to finally crack it, to not have any sickness… it’s just been a fantastic three weeks.”
Another stand out rider at the Tour this year was Sam Bennett, who became the first Irish green jersey winner since Sean Kelly in 1989, and won two stages, including one on the Champs-Elysées. Sophie Hurcom followed Bennett's progress and analysed how he won green.
Speaking days after the Tour ended, Bennett said: “Sometimes you can have a bit of imposter syndrome, that you don’t know are you actually good enough to be in this position... Now I feel that [this] is my position and I’ve earned it... I can relax knowing that I should be in the place that I am in.”
2020 was the first edition of the Tour since 2014 that a rider from Sky or Ineos Grenadiers hadn’t finished in the yellow jersey. Richard Moore takes a look at what went wrong for the British team, who were left without a leader after Egan Bernal abandoned the race.
Powerful, long-range breakaways were a theme of this year’s Tour, succeeding on five of the race's stages. Adam Becket and Sophie Hurcom spoke to some of the protagonists, including Neilson Powless, Nicolas Roche and Matt Winston, who gave insights into one of the most fascinating parts of grand tour riding.
Another young rider who caught the eye was Marc Hirschi, the young Swiss cyclist who won stage 12 was named the most combative rider at the end of the race. Edward Pickering spoke to the Sunweb rider who looks to be here to stay, always attacking and oozing class.
Elsewhere, Adam Becket spoke to Connor Swift, the tall Yorkshireman who has gone from riding the Tour Series to riding the Tour, in support of Nairo Quintana. Swift said: “I definitely wanted to be at the biggest races of the sport, at the highest level, so it's definitely something that I had set in sight, but obviously maybe not as fast, but I'm super happy to be here, and I feel like I'm going alright at this level.”
Also in Procycling magazine this month is an interview with the first Israeli to ride the Tour, Guy Niv, an analysis of the grand départ in Nice in the age of covid-19, and a look at what went right for EF Pro Cycling this year, with their DS Tom Southam.
Procycling magazine: the best writing and photography from inside the world’s toughest sport. Pick up your copy now in all good newsagents and supermarkets, or get a Procycling subscription.
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