Tadej Pogačar loses Tour de France lead after teammates get COVID
The Tour de France's two-time defending champion Tadej Pogačar lost the yellow jersey in the Alps on Wednesday, thanks in part to a familiar opponent: COVID-19.
Driving the news: After losing two key teammates (and nearly a third) to positive tests, Slovenia's Pogačar stumbled during the first big mountain stage and now trails first-place Jonas Vingegaard by over two minutes.
Catch up fast: UAE Team Emirates teammate Vegard Stake Laengen, who rode the past two Tours at Pogacar's side, left last week after a positive test.
- On Tuesday, Pogačar lost George Bennett, a talented climber who would have helped him tremendously on Wednesday.
- A third teammate, Rafal Majka, also tested positive on Tuesday — but was allowed to continue because his viral load presented "a very low risk of infectivity," per the team.
Where it stands: Denmark's Vingegaard went from 39 seconds behind Pogačar to 2 minutes and 22 seconds ahead of him. Pogačar fell to third on general classification, six seconds behind France's Romain Bardet.
- "We were talking about Tadej against the world," said cyclist turned analyst Robbie McEwen. "Now it's Tadej versus COVID."
- "I want ... revenge," Pogačar said Wednesday. "It's not over yet."
What's next: Today's Stage 12 (of 21) comes on Bastille Day and features three big climbs and a mountain-top finish at the Alpe d'Huez ski resort.
Go deeper: Recapping an extraordinary Stage 11 (The Telegraph)