Gwen Jorgensen
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Gwen Jorgensen’s record winning streak snapped

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When Gwen Jorgensen‘s run was over, her run was over.

Jorgensen’s record winning streak of 13 top-level international triathlons was snapped emphatically in Gold Coast, Australia, on Saturday.

The favorite in Rio to become the first U.S. Olympic triathlon champion lost for the first time since April 26, 2014.

Jorgensen finished second in her first World Series race since Sept. 18, a distant 41 seconds behind Great Britain’s Helen Jenkins after nearly two hours of racing Down Under.

“Helen was really strong today,” Jorgensen said in exhaustion shortly afterward. “She was the better athlete.”

Jorgensen had always been the better athlete — far and away, in some cases — for nearly the last two years.

But on Saturday, she found herself in unfamiliar territory after the 1500m swim and 40km bike going into the final 10km run.

Jorgensen was 1 minute, 32 seconds behind a leading group of Jenkins, New Zealand’s Andrea Hewitt and Bermuda’s Flora Duffy.

During her streak, Jorgensen had been known to erase deficits of one minute, or slightly more, on the run, her strongest of the three triathlon disciplines. But never had she faced a gap that wide.

It was too much.

“I missed that [breakaway bike] pack,” Jorgensen said. “I wasn’t up far enough, made a mistake and wasn’t strong enough, and that was the race.”

Jenkins broke free from the three-woman lead group almost immediately on the run and gave up just five seconds to Jorgensen in the first 5km.

Jorgensen caught Duffy and Hewitt on the last of four 2.5km laps, outsprinting Hewitt to the finish line by two seconds. She made up 46 seconds on Jenkins on the final 5km but was never within striking distance of the Brit.

“I can’t quite believe it,” Jenkins said. “But the whole time I’m waiting for Gwen. You can never underestimate how quick Gwen’s running.”

Jenkins, the 2011 World champion, won her first World Series race since May 11, 2012.

She went nearly 18 months between races after a disappointing fifth-place finish at the London Olympics. Jenkins, 32, contemplated retirement while sidelined by injury. She’s been hampered by back, ankle, knee and foot problems the last four years.

Jenkins’ victory could prove vital for her Rio Olympic team hopes.

Two of Great Britain’s three Olympic team members had already been named — Non Stanford and Vicky Holland — and another Brit, Jodie Stimpson, had won the season-opening race in Abu Dhabi on March 5 (which Jorgensen skipped).

As for Jorgensen, shedding the winning streak before the Olympics may actually be a positive. It’s a traditional debate in sports whether that kind of streak, and the pressure that rides with it, can be a burden going into a championship.

“She doesn’t need to prove herself now,” 2008 Olympic champion Emma Frodeno said on the Gold Coast broadcast. “She’s still thinking about August. … This could be the best thing that could happen to her, unfortunately for the other athletes.”

Jorgensen’s streak of 13 straight top-level triathlons, and 12 straight in World Series competition, ends as the longest in history.

Pre-World Series, Australian Emma Carney and Portugal’s Vanessa Fernandes were unbeaten across 12 straight International Triathlon Union World Cup races, but they lost separate World Championships races during those streaks.

The World Series continues in two weeks in Cape Town, South Africa.

MORE: Jorgensen: I debated quitting triathlon in 2014

2020 Tour de France standings

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2020 Tour de France results for the yellow jersey, green jersey, white jersey and polka-dot jersey …

Overall (Yellow Jersey)
1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) — 87:20:05
2. Primoz Roglic (SLO) — +:59
3. Richie Porte (AUS) — +3:30
4. Mikel Landa (ESP) — +5:58
5. Enric Mas (ESP) — +6:07
6. Miguel Angel Lopez (COL) — +6:47
7. Tom Dumoulin (NED) — +7:48
8. Rigberto Uran (COL) — +8:02
9. Adam Yates (GBR) — +9:25
10. Damiano Caruso (ITA) — +14:03
13. Richard Carapaz (ECU) — +25:53
15. Sepp Kuss (USA) — +42:20
17. Nairo Quintana (COL) — +1:03:07
29. Thibaut Pinot (FRA) — +1:59:54
36. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA) — +2:19:11
DNF. Egan Bernal (COL)

Sprinters (Green Jersey)
1. Sam Bennett (IRL) — 380 points
2. Peter Sagan (SVK) — 284
3. Matteo Trentin (ITA) — 260
4. Bryan Coquard (FRA) — 181
5. Wout van Aert (BEL) — 174

Climbers (Polka-Dot Jersey)
1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) — 82 points
2. Richard Carapaz (ECU) — 74
3. Primoz Roglic (SLO) — 67
4. Marc Hirschi (SUI) — 62
5. Miguel Angel Lopez (COL) — 51

Young Rider (White Jersey)
1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) — 87:20:13
2. Enric Mas (ESP) — +6:07
3. Valentin Madouas (FRA) — +1:42:43
4. Dani Martinez (COL) — +1:55:12
5. Lennard Kamna (GER) — +2:15:39

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TOUR DE FRANCE: TV, Stream Schedule | Stage By Stage | Favorites, Predictions

Tadej Pogacar, Slovenia win Tour de France for the ages

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A Tour de France that almost didn’t happen ended up among the most exciting in the race’s 117-year history.

Tadej Pogacar, a 21-year-old Slovenian, rode into Paris on Sunday as the first man in more than 60 years to pedal in the yellow jersey for the first time on the final day of a Tour.

Let’s get the achievements out of the way: Pogacar is the first Slovenian to win the Tour, finishing with the other overall leaders behind stage winner Sam Bennett on the Champs-Elysees.

“Even if I would come second or last, it wouldn’t matter, it would be still nice to be here,” Pogacar said. “This is just the top of the top. I cannot describe this feeling with the words.”

He is the second-youngest winner in race history, after Henri Cornet in 1904. (Cornet won after the first four finishers were disqualified for unspecified cheating. The 19-year-old Frenchman rode 21 miles with a flat tire during the last stage after spectators reportedly threw nails on the road.)

Pogacar is the first man to win a Tour in his debut since Frenchman Laurent Fignon in 1983.

And he’s part of a historic one-two for Slovenia, a nation with the population of Houston.

Countryman Primoz Roglic, who wore the yellow jersey for nearly two weeks before ceding it after Saturday’s epic time trial, embraced Pogacar after a tearful defeat Saturday and again during Sunday’s stage.

Tasmanian Richie Porte, who moved from fourth place to third on Saturday, made his first Tour podium in his 10th start, a record according to ProCyclingStats.com. The age range on the Paris gloaming podium — more than 13 years — is reportedly the largest in Tour history.

TOUR DE FRANCE: Standings | TV, Stream Schedule | Stage By Stage

Three men on a Tour de France podium in the shadow of the Arc de Triomphe, each for the first time. Hasn’t been done since 2007, arguably the first Tour of a new era.

This Tour feels similarly guard-changing.

It barely got off, delayed two months by the coronavirus pandemic. Two days before the start, France’s prime minister said the virus was “gaining ground” in the nation and announced new “red zones” in the country, including parts of the Tour route.

Testing protocols meant that if any team had two members (cyclists or staff) test positive before the start or on either rest day, the whole team would be thrown out.

It never came to that. Yet the Tour finishes without 2019 champion, Colombian Egan Bernal, who last year became the first South American winner and, at the time, the youngest in more than 100 years.

Bernal abandoned last Wednesday after struggling in the mountains. His standings plummet signaled the end, at least for now, of the Ineos Grenadiers dynasty after five straight Tour titles dating to Chris Froome and the Team Sky days.

Jumbo-Visma became the new dominant team. The leader Roglic was ushered up climbs by several Jumbo men, including Sepp Kuss, the most promising American male cyclist in several years.

What a story Roglic was shaping up to be. A junior champion ski jumper, he was concussed in a training crash on the eve of what would have been his World Cup debut in 2007. Roglic never made it to the World Cup before quitting and taking up cycling years later.

As Roglic recovered from that spill in Planica, Pogacar had his sights on the Rog Ljubljana cycling club about 60 miles east. Little Tadej wanted to follow older brother Tilen into bike racing, but the club didn’t have a bike small enough.

The following spring, they found one. Pogacar was off and pedaling. In 2018, at age 18, he was offered a contract and then signed with UAE Team Emirates, his first World Tour team. The next year, Pogacar finished third at the Vuelta a Espana won by Roglic, becoming the youngest Grand Tour podium finisher since 1974.

Pogacar was initially slated to support another rider, Fabio Aru, for UAE Emirates at this year’s Tour. But his continued ascent propelled him into a team leader role.

Bernal and Roglic entered the Tour as co-favorites. After that, Pogacar was among a group of podium contenders but perhaps with the highest ceiling.

He stayed with the favorites for much of the Tour, save losing 81 seconds on the seventh stage, caught on the wrong end of a split after a crash in front of him.

“I’m not worried,” Pogacar said that day. “We will try another day.”

The next day, actually. He reeled back half of the lost time, putting him within striking distance of Roglic going into Saturday’s 22-mile time trial, the so-called “race of truth.”

Pogacar put in a performance in the time trial that reminded of Greg LeMond‘s epic finale in 1989. Pogacar won the stage by 81 seconds, greater than the margin separating second place from eighth place. Roglic was a disappointing fifth on the day, but he could have finished second and still lost all of his 57-second lead to Pogacar.

Pogacar turns 22 on Monday, but that might not add much to the celebration.

“Sorry,” he said, “but I’m not really a fan of my birthdays.”

MORE: USA Cycling names Olympic team finalists

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