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 (AFP via Getty Images)

(AFP via Getty Images)

We are back in Tignes for the Tour de France, two years after the race had to be suddenly suspended due to a mudslide on the road, and the peloton never reached the finish. It proved decisive as the yellow jersey saw a switch from Julian Alaphilippe to Egan Bernal, who went on to win, but this time around the irrepressible Tadej Pogacar is in the maillot jaune and looking extremely well-placed for success.

Pogacar produced a stunning display on stage 8 and opened up a gap of 1min 46sec ahead of Wout van Aert at the top of the standings. He is around five minutes on his most realistic rivals, including Alexey Lutsenko, Rigoberto Uran, Richard Carapaz and Enric Mas. The question now is surely by how much, rather than if, Pogacar will retain his crown.

Stage 9 is the final stint before Monday’s first rest day and it is another brute in the Alps. There are five categorised climbs scattered through the 145km route from Cluses to Tignes, with the hors categorie Col du Pre in the middle before a 21km drag up to the summit finish.

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Tadej Pogacar grabs Tour de France yellow jersey with stunning stage 8 display