Cycling: Pogacar wins stage 15 of the Tour de France as defending champion Bernal cracks

Cycling: Pogacar wins stage 15 of the Tour de France as defending champion Bernal cracks

COL DU GRAND COLOMBIER (REUTERS) – Tadej Pogacar beat fellow Slovenian and overall leader Primoz Roglic to win the 15th stage of the Tour de France as defending champion Egan Bernal all but abandoned his crown on Sunday (Sept 13).

The Colombian was dropped 13km from the finish at the top of the Col du Grand Colombier, an unforgiving 17.4km ascent at an average gradient of 7.1 per cent, and lost more than seven minutes on the line.

Two-time runner-up and fellow Colombian Nairo Quintana also quickly lost contact with the leading group led by Roglic’s Jumbo-Visma team mates, who set a frantic tempo from the bottom of the climb.

Pogacar, however, was the freshest man in the finale as he outsprinted Roglic for the victory at the end of a punishing 174.5km trek in the Jura mountains.

Australian Richie Porte took third place.

Roglic leads Pogacar by 40 seconds and Colombian Rigoberto Uran by 1:34.

Bernal, who was third overall 59 seconds off the pace before the start in Lyon, dropped out of the top 10.