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Tour de France

Tadej Pogačar reveals more details of Col du Granon implosion: ‘I was a bit short of fuel’

Pogačar looked unbeatable until he fell into the trap set by Jumbo-Visma that turned the Tour de France upside down last week.

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Tadej Pogačar isn’t one to dwell over spilled milk.

With six stages left to go in the 2022 Tour de France, he promises to attack at every opportune moment from Carcassonne to Paris.

Yet the fact that he is even in the position that he finds himself needing to attack continues to rattle across the peloton.

Pogačar looked unbeatable until he fell into the trap set by Jumbo-Visma on the Col de Galibier, which turned the Tour upside down on the Col du Granon summit finale Wednesday in spectacular fashion on stage 11.

Pogačar revealed more details Monday of what went wrong in the tactical moment that will dictate this Tour all the way to Paris.

“I was a bit short of fuel,” Pogačar explained Monday. “I was answering a lot of attacks on the Galibier and that drained a lot of energy.”

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Last week, Pogačar admitted he “fell into a trap” set by Jumbo-Visma’s Primož Roglič and current race leader Jonas Vingegaard after coming over the top of the Col du Télégraphe.

As the leaders approached the steepest upper reaches of the Col du Galibier, the Jumbo-Visma pair started to attack Pogačar, who took the bait hook, line, and sinker.

“If you do 10 sprints alone, and Vingegaard and Primož had to do just five, half less than me,” Pogačar said. “I think I killed myself there a little bit, and maybe I should have taken more fuel.”

Pogačar countered every move by Roglič and Vingegaard, and even piled on himself. Up and over the Galibier, Pogačar looked to be in control, and was even smiling and flashing the “hang loose” hand gesture to TV cameras.

Then the wheels came off with just over 4km to go when Vingegaard attacked, and Pogačar could not respond. Vingegaard poured it on in a race-breaking moment, won the stage, and did the unthinkable by wrestling away the yellow jersey.

There was some speculation that Pogačar missed his final feed bag as he hit the Col du Granon.

“It was not the first time I was dropped,” Pogačar said. “It was a tough 15 minutes at the Col du Granon. I was exhausted and I tried to give all.

“The fans were still cheering for me and I felt great after the stage,” he said. “You feel a bit disappointed, but I didn’t give up. I had the head up straight away to have a good night’s sleep, and the next day, I almost forgot about it. It was not so bad.”

Well, maybe not, but the blunder may well cost him what could have been a third straight yellow jersey.

Pogačar tried but couldn’t shake Vingegaard on Alpe d’Huez and again up Mende on Saturday.

Three consecutive climbing days in the Pyrénées could determine who will wear yellow in Paris.

“For sure I will give 100 percent, I will try to win the race,” Pogačar insisted. “I will attack and hopefully I push some good watts, and try to take some time. It’s not that it’s going to be the end of the world if I do not arrive in yellow in Paris, because I’ve already been two times the winner.

“Second place with white jersey is still pretty good. I am still thinking about yellow. I am not going to give up and I will give everything until the finish line.”