After turning in one of the most memorable performances in the history of the Tour de France on Saturday, the only thing that remained for Tadej Pogacar was his celebratory trip into Paris.

Pogacar, whose 22nd birthday is Monday, is the youngest winner of the Tour de France in the post-World War II era and the second-youngest champion ever. Because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, this ending was very different, with the Champs-Élysées devoid of the cheering masses that typically turn out to watch the cyclists as the grueling race comes to a conclusion.

The first rider from Slovenia to win the race, Pogacar and Primoz Roglic, his countryman and the race leader for much of the previous two weeks, had pursued each other over the past week. On Saturday, Pogacar wiped out Roglic’s 57-second edge and took an insurmountable 59-second lead going into the final day of a race that had been moved from the summer because of the pandemic.

Roglic finished second, 59 seconds behind, and Australian Richie Porte was third, 3:30 back.

On Saturday, Pogacar, who rides for UAE Team Emirates, earned his third stage win of the Tour as Roglic finished fifth, almost two minutes behind Pogacar, who said he “just went full gas from the bottom to the top.” At the end of the day, Pogacar rather than Roglic, who rides for Team Jumbo-Visma, was poised to become the first Slovenian to win the race.

“Unforgettable,” Pogacar said of Saturday’s performance. “I think I’m dreaming.”

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