Roglic Tightens Grip On Tour Lead As Ineos Gets First Win
Riders in the breakeway climb Cormet de Roselend during the stage 18 of the Tour de France cycling race over 175 kilometers (108.7 miles) from Meribel to La Roche-sur-Foron, France, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
LA ROCHE-SUR-FORON, France: Paris, and victory at the Tour de France, are almost within reach of Primoz Roglic.
The Slovenian rider safely negotiated the last truly mountainous stage of this year’s race on Thursday, moving a big step closer to adding what would be his first Tour win to the Spanish Vuelta title he conquered last year.
Polish rider Michal Kwiatkowski won the saw-tooth Stage 18, up and down over a leg-burning succession of five Alpine ascents. His first stage victory at the Tour was also the first at this race for his Ineos Grenadiers team, a consolation prize after its leader, 2019 Tour champion Egan Bernal, withdrew Wednesday having struggled since the weekend.
By avoiding any mishaps on a tough stage that included a treacherous stretch of gravel path that punctured the thin front tire of another top contender, Australian Richie Porte, Roglic has just two more stages to digest before being able to ride into Paris on Sunday with the yellow jersey on his shoulders to the finish.
Kwiatkowski finished together with teammate Richard Carapaz. They did not sprint to the line, instead crossing together, with Kwiatkowski’s front tire just ahead.
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