Tadej Pogacar eyes Champs Elysees, 2nd Tour de France title

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SAINT-EMILION, France (AP) — Tadej Pogacar is all but guaranteed to win a second straight Tour de France title after completing the penultimate stage unscathed Saturday.

With the final day of the race usually uneventful until the final sprint on the Champs Elysees, the stage 20 time trial marked the last serious test after nearly three exhausting weeks.

Given Pogacar’s big advantage at the start, it was always unlikely someone would be able to knock the 22-year-old Slovenian off his perch.

As Wout van Aert claimed the 30.8-kilometer (19.1-mile) stage from Libourne to Saint-Emilion, Pogacar played it safe and finished eighth. He will carry an unsurmountable lead of five minutes, 20 seconds into the final day, a 108.4-kilometer (67.3-mile) stage from Chatou to Paris.

Pogacar won his first title last September when he became the Tour’s youngest champion in 116 years.

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The Associated Press

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