Two days after police raided his hotel room at the Tour de France, Slovenian Matej Mohoric scored a second stage victory since the start of the competition on Friday after breaking away from the team. ‘escape with a daring attack.

Mohoric, who wears the Bahrain Victorious team colors, started his maneuver 26 km from the finish line of the 19th stage and produced a spectacular solo effort after spending the day at the front.

His victory relieved his team, which was the target of a police raid in connection with a doping-related investigation. The Marseille prosecutor responsible for the case said that a preliminary investigation targeting the team had been opened on July 3 “for purchase, transport, possession, importation of a substance or a method prohibited by an athlete without valid medical reason. “.

None of the team’s cyclists taking part in the Tour have been publicly accused of wrongdoing, but Mohoric put a finger to his mouth and then made a finger gesture mimicking closing his lips before crossing the line. arrival, as if he wanted to silence the critics of the team.

“I mostly thought about what happened two days ago,” he said, when asked to reveal what had gone through his mind during the last mile of the race. “When I felt like a criminal with the police who came to our hotel. “

“In a way that’s a good thing because it means there are still checks in the peloton and they are watching all the teams. But in another sense […] it’s not pleasant when the police come into your room and go through all of your belongings. “

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About 25 officers from a special public health unit responsible for the case were involved in the search. Mohoric team officials say they’ve been asked about all of their training programs.

“Even if you have nothing to hide, it seems a little weird […] when they look at your personal photos, your family photos, your phone and your messages, ”observed the Slovenian cyclist.

Mohoric has stage victories in each of the three competitions that make up the Grand Tour and is a specialist in long solo breaks. He had previously won the seventh stage of the Tour, 249 km long in central France.

On Friday, Mohoric covered the 207 km, which was spread over a relatively flat route between Mourenx and Libourne, in 4 hours 19 minutes and 17 seconds. He beat Frenchman Christophe Laporte and Dane Casper Pedersen by 58 seconds.

Hugo Houle was the best Canadian with a 48th place, 20 minutes 50 seconds behind the winner. Guillaume Boivin was credited with the 129th rank, but with a time identical to that of Houle.

Moreover, the Ottavian Michael Woods did not take the start of the event. In a tweet published a few hours before the start of the race, officials from Israel Start-Up Nation, the team Woods and Boivin play for, explained that Woods would not be participating in the race to properly recover from accidents in the race. which he has been involved with since the start of the competition, and also to prepare for the road race of the Olympic Games.

This race is scheduled to take place on July 24. Boivin and Houle are also registered there.

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Slovenian Tadej Pogacar finished 26th on the stage, 20 minutes 50 seconds behind his compatriot and he keeps the yellow jersey of the leader. His lead is 5 minutes 45 seconds over Dane Jonas Vingegaard.

Barring an accident, Pogacar should be crowned Tour champion on Sunday for a second year in a row.

Houle sits 68th in the cumulative standings, at 2 hours 38 minutes and 39 seconds while Boivin ranks 106th at 3 hours 29 minutes and 7 seconds.

The Tour will end on Sunday with a 108.4 km hike to the Champs-Élysées.

Before this final, there is only one difficult stage left, an individual time trial between Libourne and Saint-Émilion, on Saturday. Pogacar excels in this type of racing and even won the first time trial of the competition this year on June 30.

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