Primoz Roglic took command of the Tour de France despite narrowly losing out to fellow Slovenian Tadej Pogacar on the ninth stage as Briton Adam Yates’ limits were exposed in the second mountain test on Sunday.
The Slovenian played it safe on the last climb of the day but it was enough for him to move to the top of the standings in a ninth stage won by Tour debutant Pogacar.
The 21-year-old Pogacar, the most attacking rider on the final climb up to the Col de Marie Blanque, outsprinted Roglic and breakaway rider Marc Hirschi of Switzerland to move up to seventh overall, 44 seconds off the pace.
Defending champion Egan Bernal finished in the five-man leading group and sits in second place overall, 21 seconds behind Roglic.
Yates, who made no mystery of his limited ambitions on the Tour, ended the stage in 15th place, 54 seconds off the pace, and dropped down to eighth overall.