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Tadej Pogacar hails dream day after beating Vingegaard to take Tour lead

Tadej Pogacar moved back into yellow on stage four
Tadej Pogacar moved back into yellow on stage fourReuters
Tadej Pogacar (25) executed his plan to perfection as he struck first in the Tour de France to leave defending champion Jonas Vingegaard (27) almost a minute behind on Tuesday.

The 2020 and 2021 champion, who is bidding to become the first rider to achieve a Giro d'Italia/Tour double since Marco Pantani in 1998, made his move near the top of the Col du Galibier on the fourth stage and extended his lead in the descent to Valloire.

The Slovenian claimed the stage win and the overall leader's yellow jersey as Vingegaard, who first followed before losing ground, struggled in the finale.

Pogacar leads Belgian Remco Evenepoel by 45 seconds with Vingegaard in third place overall, five seconds further behind.

He benefited from the good work of his UAE Emirates team mates in the long ascent of the Galibier, which left Vingegaard isolated.

"It was more or less the plan and we executed it pretty well, I'm super happy. It was like a dream stage and I finished it off so well," Pogacar said.

"I wanted to hit hard today and I knew this stage very well. I've trained here a lot of times and it felt like a home stage. I was confident in the start and I had good legs."

Pogacar hinted he could have attacked earlier, but headwinds on the climb made him wait.

"At first there was a lot of head wind in the climb and the team did a super job protecting me," he explained.

"I did not want to go too early because of the wind. I knew the downhill pretty well but I was a bit surprised to see wet road in the first corners.

"I'm super happy with my shape and with how I feel."

Pogacar, however, insisted he would take it 'day by day', a year after Vingegaard humbled him in an individual time trial on the Tour, beating him by 98 seconds over 22.4km.

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