Arab Times

Roglic tight­ens grip on Tour lead

Lat­est sports scores at — http://sports.arab­timeson­line.com INEOS get first win

- Sports · Tour De France · Bicycle Racing · Bicycles · Outdoor Hobbies · Hobbies · Los Angeles · France · Paris · Michał Kwiatkowski · Egan Bernal · Richie Porte · Richard Carapaz · Tours · Ecuador · Italy · Michelangelo · Miguel Ángel López

LA ROCHE-SUR-FORON, France, Sept 17, (AP): Paris, and vic­tory at the Tour de France, are al­most within reach of Pri­moz Roglic.

The Slove­nian rider safely ne­go­ti­ated the last truly moun­tain­ous stage of this year’s race on Thurs­day, mov­ing a big step closer to adding what would be his first Tour win to the Span­ish Vuelta ti­tle he con­quered last year.

Pol­ish rider Michal Kwiatkowsk­i won the saw-tooth Stage 18, up and down over a leg-burn­ing suc­ces­sion of five Alpine as­cents. His first stage vic­tory at the Tour was also the first at this race for his INEOS Gre­nadiers team, a con­so­la­tion prize after its leader, 2019 Tour cham­pion Egan Ber­nal, with­drew Wed­nes­day hav­ing strug­gled since the week­end.

By avoid­ing any mishaps on a bru­tal stage that in­cluded a treach­er­ous stretch of gravel path that punc

CY­CLING

tured the thin front tire of an­other top con­tender, Aus­tralian Richie Porte, Roglic has just two more stages to digest be­fore be­ing able to ride into Paris on Sun­day with the yel­low jersey on his shoul­ders to the fin­ish.

Kwiatkowsk­i fin­ished arm-over­arm with team­mate Richard Cara­paz. They did not sprint to the line, in­stead cross­ing to­gether, all smiles, their faces caked with dust, with Kwiatkowsk­i’s front tire just ahead. Kwiatkowsk­i is a for­mer world cham­pion and vet­eran of seven Tours who likely would have won other stages be­fore now had he not de­voted much of his ca­reer to help­ing other rid­ers win the Tour ti­tle.

Cara­paz said INEOS’ goals for the day were both win­ning the stage and putting him in the red-spot­ted jersey awarded to rid­ers who vac­uum up the most points on the Tour’s climbs. They did both. With Cara­paz hav­ing se­cured the jersey on the as­cents, the Ecuado­ran rider then gra­ciously left the win to his loyal team­mate who had helped him up the climbs.

“Ba­si­cally, he de­cided,” Kwiatkowsk­i said of Cara­paz, who last year be­came Ecuador’s first Grand Tour cham­pion by win­ning the Giro d’Italia. “He’s an in­cred­i­ble per­son.”

“We are go­ing to cel­e­brate big time tonight be­cause we all de­serve it after so many stages,” he said. “We put in a show to­day.”

Fur­ther back, in his own bat­tle to keep the over­all race lead, Roglic again kept Tadej Po­gacar, his Slove­nian coun­try­man and clos­est ri­val, firmly in his grasp. Roglic surged ahead of Po­gacar on the dusty gravel track at the top of the day’s tough­est climb, mak­ing clear that he was in no mood to cede even sec­onds so close to the fin­ish in Paris.

Roglic re­mains 57 sec­onds ahead of Po­gacar over­all, and has a lead of 1 minute, 27 sec­onds over Colom­bian rider Miguel An­gel Lopez, still third.

 ??  ?? Leeds United goal­keeper Kiko Casilla clears the ball dur­ing the English League Cup soc­cer match between Leeds United and Hull in Leeds, Eng­land on
Sept 16. Sec­ond-string Leeds team lost a penalty shootout 8-9 to third-tier Hull after a 1-1 draw in reg­u­la­tion. (AP)
Leeds United goal­keeper Kiko Casilla clears the ball dur­ing the English League Cup soc­cer match between Leeds United and Hull in Leeds, Eng­land on Sept 16. Sec­ond-string Leeds team lost a penalty shootout 8-9 to third-tier Hull after a 1-1 draw in reg­u­la­tion. (AP)
 ??  ?? Poland’s Michal Kwiatkowsk­i cel­e­brates after win­ning the Stage 18 of the Tour de France cy­cling race over 175 kilo­me­ters (108.7 miles) from Meri­bel to La Roche-sur
Foron, France on Sept 17. (AP)
Poland’s Michal Kwiatkowsk­i cel­e­brates after win­ning the Stage 18 of the Tour de France cy­cling race over 175 kilo­me­ters (108.7 miles) from Meri­bel to La Roche-sur Foron, France on Sept 17. (AP)

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