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Pogacar wins the Tour as Bennett takes the final stage: Daily Tour Digest

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Sam Bennett sprinted to victory on stage 21 of the Tour de France on Sunday, topping Mads Pedersen and Peter Sagan on the Champs-Élysées. Moments later, Tadej Pogacar crossed the finish line safely to wrap up his first ever overall Tour title.

As expected, the final stage of the race came down to a bunch kick, with Bennett and Pedersen both hitting the front with 250 meters still to go. Bennett led early in the sprint and no one could pull even before the line, where he took his second career Tour stage win and secured his green jersey.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am. Green jersey, Champs-Élysées, World Championships of sprinting, I never thought I’d be able to win this stage and to do it in green is so special,” Bennett said after the stage. “To do it with my dream team Deceuninck-Quick-Step, the way the boys rode all day, they were fantastic. It’s just so amazing, I can’t thank everyone enough.”

Behind the sprinters, Pogacar and the rest of the top GC riders finished safely in the bunch, with Pogacar becoming the Tour’s youngest winner in over a hundred years as he arrived at the finish and Primoz Roglic and Richie Porte rounding out the final podium.

More to come …

In other news

| Merckx: Jumbo-Visma rode ‘stupidly’ at the Tour de France

Five-time Tour de France winner Eddy Merckx has criticized Jumbo-Visma’s tactics at this year’s Tour. In an interview with L’Equipe after Tadej Pogacar’s overhauled Primoz Roglic in the stage 20 time trial, Merckx said that Jumbo-Visma should have seen Pogacar’s yellow jersey challenge coming and acted accordingly.

“They mostly rode stupidly,” Merckx said of Jumbo-Visma. “For three weeks we saw them ride at full speed, letting nothing pass. They dominated, controlled everything, but they only forgot one guy, this young 21 year old at only 50 seconds back. What an error of judgment! They caught themselves their own trap.”

Merckx said that the threat Pogacar posed should have been “obvious” to Jumbo-Visma.

“You can ask my wife and my relatives, I’ve been saying for days that Roglic’s 50-second lead was not enough to secure the final victory,” Merckx said. “I saw this Pogacar coming as big as a house. I had said that the only solution for him was to wait for the time trial, time was on his side.”

As it turned out, that’s just what Pogacar did. The 21-year-old entered Saturday’s TT with 57 seconds to make up on Roglic, but he took nearly two minutes on his compatriot to take yellow.

| Tour peloton makes small anti-racism gesture, shows support for Kevin Reza

At the start of Sunday’s 21st and final stage of the 2020 Tour, much of the peloton donned masks with hand-written messages showing solidarity against racism and support of the Tour’s only black rider, Kevin Reza.

Several teams arrived to the start with masks saying “End Racism” or “No to racism” and continued to wear them through the processional starting kilometers of the stage.

“Finally, it took the world’s biggest race for the message to be heard,” Reza said. “I couldn’t make myself clear on this subject. It’s nice to see positive reactions. Today, the ASO allowed me to deliver the message by riding on the front. There’s still a lot of work to do. This is a great start.”

| Van der Breggen wins the Giro Rosa as Muzic takes the final stage

Anna van der Breggen wrapped up the overall victory at the Giro Rosa on Saturday as Évita Muzic took the ninth and final stage.

The lumpy final stage in and around Motta Montecorvino came down to a collection of escapees, with Muzic out-sprinting Niamh Fisher-Black and Juliette Labous for the win.

Anna van der Breggen crossed the uphill finish line 3:36 down to seal the GC win with Kasia Niewiadoma and Elisa Longo Borghini rounding out the final podium.

In case you missed it

| Porte: Tour podium ‘feels like a victory’

A podium finish at the Tour de France meant a lot to a rider who has seen so many Tour dreams dashed over the years.

Today’s featured image of Sam Bennett winning stage 21 of the Tour de France comes from Cor Vos.

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