PARIS, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Slovenian debutant Tadej Pogacar secured his Tour de France triumph in Paris on Sunday, becoming the second-youngest champion at just 21 years old.
The UAE Team Emirates rider, who will turn 22 on Monday, became the first Slovenian to win the world's elite road cycling event. Meanwhile, the rookie also claimed the polka dot king of the mountains jersey and the best U-26 rider's white jersey.
Ireland's Sam Bennett won the last stage after the eight-lap dash around the iconic Champs-Elysees to take the green sprinter's jersey.
"I can't find the words to thank everyone, but it's been amazing this three weeks when the fans cheered me all the way," Pogacar said.
"This is unbelievable, standing here in Paris on the top of the podium. I never thought I would be here," he added.
The victory for Pogacar was incredible, as he overcame long-term race leader Primoz Roglic, a fellow Slovenian cyclist, in a stunning time trial win in the penultimate stage on Saturday when he erased a 57-second deficit and even established an unshakable 59-second lead entering into Sunday's ceremonial route from Mantes-la-Jolie to Champs-Elysees.
The 30-year-old title favorite Roglic, however, had to finished second, 59 seconds behind, after having worn the yellow jersey for 13 days, while Australia's Richie Porte, 35, took the third place on the podium.
It is the first Tour win for the UAE Team Emirates, in either their current guise or as former outfit Lampre, which ends a run of five straight titles for British team Ineos, former known as Team Sky.