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Tour de France: Remco Evenepoel wins time-trial as Pogacar stays in yellow

Remco Evenepoel claimed his first victory at the Tour de France in stage seven’s individual time-trial as Tadej Pogacar held on to the leader’s yellow jersey.

The Belgian, who is the current world time trial champion, underlined his credentials as one of the favourites in the general classification, with a superb run on 25.3km course to finish 12 seconds ahead of Slovenia’s Pogacar.

Evenepoel, 24, who thought he had suffered a puncture on the approach towards the finish in Gevrey-Chambertin, is now just 33 seconds behind Pogacar overall.

Another Slovenian, Primoz Roglic was third 34 seconds down, while defending champion Jonas Vingegaard conceded 37 seconds in fourth.

The Dane now trails by one minute and 15 seconds in the GC after also losing time on stage four.

Simon Yates was the top-placed British rider in the time-trial, finishing 1:33 behind Evenepoel.

The stage win gives Evenepoel, who is wearing the white jersey as the best young rider in the race so far, stage victories in all three Grand Tours.

“It’s crazy. I enjoyed every metre of this time trial and coming out with the win was simply amazing,” said the Soudal-Quick Step rider.

“We wanted a stage win, and that is done. It’s a perfect day for me and my team. Mission accomplished. As for the rest of the Tour de France, I believe Tadej is going to be unreachable. But this is cycling, you never know what can happen.

“I think the further into the race we go, the better I will feel, so I’ll focus more on the podium because I feel I have the legs for it.”

Before Friday’s stage Pogacar had forecast that Evenepoel would be the man to beat in a discipline he excels in.

However, the two-time winner produced a determined ride of his own to extend his advantage over Roglic and Vingegaard, who will now see the mountain stages as their best opportunity to regain ground.

“I can be satisfied,” Pogacar said.

“I would have loved to have taken a stage win today but against Remco it’s a bit tough. But I gained time on Primoz [Roglic] and Jonas [Vingegaard] and the other guys so I can be really happy.”

On Saturday, the Tour will take a lumpy 183.4km route from Semur-en-Auxois to Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises.

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