Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša congratulates Donald Trump despite no election result


Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša has handed Donald Trump victory in the 2020 United States Presidential election, despite no official result being declared.

“It’s pretty clear that American people have elected ⁦Donald Trump and Mike Pence for four more years,” Janša tweeted on Wednesday.

“More delays and facts denying … [the] bigger the final triumph for the President. Congratulations ⁦to the Republican Party for strong results across the US”.

The US election is currently locked in a stalemate, with hundreds of thousands of votes still to be counted, and the outcome still unclear in key states.

Donald Trump declared a premature victory at the White House and described the election process as a “major fraud on our nation”.

The campaign for Democrat candidate Joe Biden has described the bid to stop vote counting as “outrageous, unprecedented and incorrect”, and say they are “ready to deploy” legal teams.

The Slovenian Prime Minister’s tweet generated an immediate response from several MEPs, including German Nicola Beer from Renew Europe Group.

“Donald Trump has his deeply undemocratic, unjustified playbook on elections EU Member States should not play along,” tweeted Beer.

“The European Union, with all Member States, has a duty to show respect for every single vote. Period.”

No other EU leader has issued congratulations or themselves announced a result in the US election.

“While we wait for the election result, the EU remains ready to continue building a strong transatlantic partnership, based on our shared values and history,” said EU Vice-President Josep Borrell.

The electoral college votes have not all been counted at time of writing.



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Egan Bernal’s bad day sets up Slovenian battle in Tour de France


The Tour de France boiled down to a battle between its two star Slovenian riders on Sunday as last year’s winner Egan Bernal dropped out of realistic contention.

Tadej Pogacar beat yellow jersey-holder Primoz Roglic in a dramatic mountaintop finish to Stage 15, though Roglic retains a 40-second advantage in the yellow jersey and formidable support from teammates who shepherded him up the Grand Colombier climb.

Bernal plummeted down the standings, all but ensuring the end of a five-year streak of Tour victories by his Ineos Grenadiers team, formerly known as Team Sky.

“At the moment, Roglic seems unstoppable,” Pogacar said.

“But today Bernal cracked and maybe one day myself or Primoz will crack too.

Pogacar stayed with Roglic on the long and brutal Grand Colombier climb despite Roglic having backing from four teammates on his ascent.

They drew on their last reserves to sprint for the summit finish, Pogacar taking his second stage win by a bike-length.

Pogacar and Roglic were given the same time.

As the stage winner, Pogacar was awarded 10 bonus seconds in the general classification against Roglic’s six for second place.

Roglic leads Pogacar by 40 seconds overall.

“I was a bit too short at the end. I didn’t make any gift to Tadej,” Roglic said, adding the Tour is “far from over”.

“We are good friends but we both want to win. He was just stronger and I was a bit disappointed to lose the stage.”

Pogacar, wearing the best young rider’s white jersey, crosses the finish line ahead of Roglic.(By Christophe Petit-Tesson/Pool via AP)

Monday is a rest day before five competitive stages including an individual time trial on Saturday, then the traditional procession into Paris on September 20.

Colombian riders started on Sunday ranked third to sixth overall behind the Slovenian duo, but all of them lost time on the 175km stage into the Jura mountains, and for two the challenge seemed over.

Bernal dropped off the lead group on the Grand Colombier climb and appeared to lose any chance of retaining the title as he dropped to 13th overall, eight minutes and 25 seconds off the yellow jersey.

Fellow Colombian Nairo Quintana started the day fifth but also dropped back on Grand Colombier and is ninth, five minutes, eight seconds off the lead.

Two more Colombian riders, Rigoberto Uran and Miguel Angel Lopez, managed to stay with the lead group and sit third and fourth in the overall standings.

Two cyclists, one in a white jersey ahead of one in yellow, straining as they ride.
There are five competitive stages left on the Tour.

Bernal said he had been feeling the effects of the first of the day’s three climbs, which had a gradient reaching 22 per cent in places.

“I was not going well from the first climb, to be honest, I was almost dropped there, I was suffering from the first climb,” he said in a statement from Ineos Grenadiers.

“It’s difficult to say how I felt, the feeling was that I was empty — I had no power. When the other riders did a big acceleration, I couldn’t go too hard to follow, but then I recovered really quickly, but my body couldn’t react as normal.”

As the long climb from the Rhone Valley to the finish began, Roglic’s Jumbo-Visma team had five riders including the Slovenian in the peloton.

They worked well together on the climb to protect Roglic and force a pace that put pressure on his rivals.

Restrictions introduced because of the coronavirus pandemic were supposed to ensure fans were restricted to the flatter sections and foothills and weren’t allowed to throng the narrow approaches to the summit finish.

However, there were still some cheering and waving flags near the top.

AP



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