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Tour de France Stage 18: Vingegaard Overcomes Aggressive Pogačar, Cements Yellow With Hautacam Stage Win

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Jonas Vingegaard of Jumbo Visma is set to become the second Danish winner of the Tour de France, and the first Dane universally recognized as such, following a powerful show of climbing brilliance that allowed him to win stage 18 alone at Hautacam. Vingegaard was under frequent attack by defending Tour winner Tadej Pogačar of UAE, but Vingegaard covered every move, survived a tricky descent off the Col de Spandelles where Pogačar briefly crashed, and finally left his Slovenian rival behind on the slopes of Hautacam. With the assistance of teammate Wout Van Aert, the brilliant green jersey winner-in-waiting who was up the road with the stage breakaway, Vingegaard was able to tire out Pogačar once and for all, allowing him to solo off to the win over the final 3km, gaining another 1.04 (plus a time bonus) to push his lead out to 3.26 with three stages remaining.

109th Tour de France 2022 - Stage 18 Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

The day produced its share of drama as Pogačar promised to win or go down fighting, and fight he did, detonating the race on the Col de Spandelles and forcing a selection that left everyone behind except for Vingegaard, the Dane’s American teammate Sepp Kuss, and INEOS’ Geraint Thomas. Pogačar tried time and again to probe Vingegaard for any sign of weakness, launching five accelerations before the top of the climb, but couldn’t distance the Dane except for one very brief moment when Vingegaard was slightly slow to respond. With no sign that he could win outright, Pogačar forced matters on the descent, where both he and Vingegaard suffered wobbles on the tricky road, Pogačar even going down on the roadside after a brief slide that left his shorts and skin slightly ripped. Vingegaard waited for Pogačar to remount and resume the battle, and they arrived at Hautacam with a small break of Thibaut Pinot of FDJ, Dani Martinez of INEOS and Van Aert up the road, plus company from Kuss and Thomas again.

Pogačar continued to force the pace, dropping all but Vingegaard again, but the pair blasted by Pinot and Martinez and caught up to Van Aert who then threw down a hot pace that finally melted Pogačar, allowing Vingegaard to go away alone to the stage win. The stage success also put Vingegaard into the maillot a pois, having lifted it from the shoulders of Simon Geschke with his 20-point coup in the finale.

109th Tour de France 2022 - Stage 18 Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

With a time trial Saturday and the usual risks of a transitional stage tomorrow, Vingegaard refused to discuss his impending victory after the race — wisely enough. But barring a catastrophe, Vingegaard will in fact win the Tour de France, giving Denmark a hero it can embrace without reservation (unlike its only other winner, Bjarne Riis, who confessed to EPO use in aid of his 1996). Vingegaard is no accidental winner, should he hang on, having taken decisive, time-gaining stage wins in the two critical mountain stages, one each in the Alps and Pyrenees.

Stage Result:

  1. Jonas Vingegaard Jumbo-Visma, 03:59:50
  2. Tadej Pogačar UAE Team Emirates, + 01:04
  3. Wout van Aert Jumbo-Visma, + 02:10
  4. Geraint Thomas INEOS Grenadiers, + 02:54
  5. David Gaudu Groupama, -FDJ+ 02:58
  6. Alexey Lutsenko Astana Qazaqstan Team, + 03:090
  7. Daniel Martinez INEOS Grenadiers, + 03:09
  8. Sepp Kuss Jumbo-Visma, + 03:27
  9. Aleksandr Vlasov BORA-hansgrohe, + 04:04
  10. Thibaut Pinot Groupama-FDJ, + 04:09
  11. Louis Meintjes Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert, + 04:09
  12. Carlos Verona Movistar Team, + 04:18
  13. Nairo Quintana Team Arkéa-Samsic, + 05:22
  14. Adam Yates INEOS Grenadiers, + 05:34
  15. Valentin Madouas Groupama, -FDJ+ 05:48
  16. Dylan Teuns Bahrain Victorious, + 06:23
  17. Romain Bardet Team DSM, + 06:40
  18. Gregor Muhlberger Movistar Team, + 07:23
  19. Enric Mas Movistar Team, + 07:23
  20. Hugo Houle Israel-Premier Tech+ 07:27


  1. Vingegaard, 71:53:34
  2. Pogačar, + 03:26
  3. Thomas, + 08:00
  4. Gaudu, + 11:05
  5. Quintana, + 13:25
  6. Meintjes, + 13:43
  7. Vlasov, + 14:10
  8. Bardet, + 16:11
  9. Alexey Lutsenko Astana Qazaqstan Team, + 20:09
  10. Yates, + 20:17
  11. Mas, + 24:08
  12. Madouas, + 33:34
  13. Bob Jungels AG2R Citroën Team, + 42:23
  14. Neilson Powless EF Education-EasyPost, + 44:58
  15. Pinot, + 46:09
  16. Luis León Sánchez Bahrain Victorious, + 47:07
  17. Patrick Konrad BORA-hansgrohe, + 51:38
  18. Tom Pidcock INEOS Grenadiers, + 53:00
  19. Kuss, + 57:59
  20. Teuns, + 01:06:01


  1. Vingegaard, 72 points
  2. Simon Geschke, Cofidis, 64
  3. Giulio Ciccone, Trek-Segafredo, 61
  4. Pogačar, 61
  5. Van Aert, 59

Lourdes - Hautacam 143.2 km

The classic Aubisque, the new acquaintance Spandelles and the notorious Hautacam at the end. You couldn’t find a much better final mountain stage in the TdF on paper, let’s see if the Bigs have any legs left to make it a memorable one.

Expected finish: 17:25 - 17:55 CEST

Fake bigringer of the Day : Tadej Pogacar

I dunno if he takes time on Vingelgaard or ot but the smart money is at least on a repeat of yesterday when he nipped ahead to grab the bonus seconds.

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