New Tour De France leader Tadej Pogacar has said that he was surprised that he was able to put so much time into his rivals during his blistering Stage 8 attack.
The defending champion attacked with a little under 35 kilometres to go and no-one could live with his relentless pace as he tore into his opponents, moving into the race lead.
After the race Pogacar was asked whether he was always planning to attack like that but interestingly he said that he made the decision just before the three big climbs of the stage.
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“No in the morning not really, I said we’ll see how it goes today,” the Slovenian said when asked of his plans.
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Then to start it was a super-hard day, riders everywhere, at the moment I was in the breakaway and it was super-hard for everyone.
"In the end I felt good in this weather, it feels great and I just decided before the last three climbs I said to my team-mates ‘yeah let’s try to break the race’ and we did it.
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"Davide Formolo and Brandon [McNulty] and Rui [Costa] did such an amazing job and I just took off and tried to pace myself to the finish line and yeah I’m pretty happy.”
Pogacar was then asked whether he expected to be able to get so much time out of his rivals and the 22-year-old admitted that he did not.
“Yeah I suspected it after yesterday. We did a lot of attacking, they attacked us, they thought they could break us as a team
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“I thought they will show more today but in the end I guess they were affected by yesterday and from today’s cold and rain.”
Finally he was asked whether Tadej Pogacar is now Tadej Pogacar’s biggest rival and he laughed and said “Yeah I think yes.
“We will see now we’re in yellow and we’re prepared to defend because we showed we are a super strong team.”
Highlights: Catch up with everything from a barnstorming Stage 8 at the Tour de France
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