Former Giro champion Hindley wins Tour mountain stage to claim yellow jersey as Pogacar loses ground

Stage winner Australia's Jai Hindley, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, celebrates Wednesday on the podium after the fifth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 163 kilometers (101 miles) with start in Pau and finish in Laruns, France. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

LARUNS, France (AP) — The first mountain stage of the Tour de France produced a new race leader on Wednesday and firmly indicated that defending champion Jonas Vingegaard has the upper hand in his duel with two-time winner Tadej Pogacar.

On his Tour de France debut, former Giro d’Italia champion Jai Hindley took the yellow jersey after winning the 162.7-kilometer (100.9-mile) fifth stage that also included a daunting 15.2-kilometer (9.4-mile) grind up Col de Soudet.


Vingegaard made the most of the brutal climb of Marie-Blanque, the third and last ascent of the day, to launch a sharp attack that was left unanswered by Pogacar.

“He was just stronger today,” Pogacar said.

Vingegaard moved into second place in the general classification, 47 seconds behind Hindley. Pogacar was sixth overall, 1 minute, 40 seconds back. Previous leader Adam Yates, a teammate of Pogacar, dropped to fifth.

Hindley was part of an early breakaway and became the first Australian leader of the race since Rohan Dennis back in 2015.

“I was surprised when I was part of the break, and the bunch didn’t really react,” Hindley said. “We decided to start working in the group and just have fun. Initially my idea was to just get a buffer to the other general classification guys.”

Vingegaard perfectly timed his attack after American teammate Sepp Kuss imposed a fast and exhausting tempo that took its toll on Pogacar, who found out after the finish that his girlfriend had crashed during the women’s Giro in Italy, and may have suffered a concussion.

Vingegaard stopped short of celebrating, perfectly aware that the Tour is a three-week race of attrition full of twists and turns.

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