Quiet winner of his second Tour de France, Tadej Pogacar nonetheless experienced a serious alert.
Tadej Pogacar delivered a real recital on the roads of the Tour de France. Winner of the first time trial and yellow jersey from the first arrival in the mountains, the Slovenian crushed the competition. If the retirement of Primoz Roglic and Richie Porte or the problems of Geraint Thomas helped him, he finished the Great Loop with more than five minutes ahead of his runner-up, the astonishing Danish Jonas Vingegaard. The UAE Team Emirates rider has nevertheless some serious alerts during these three weeks and has even been on the verge of rupture according to Joxean Fernández Matxin, the manager of the Emirati team.
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“The day 30 riders started in the seventh stage. 250 kilometers long, it was complicated. We tried to close the gap but we were unable to because there were many more and well coordinated in front. From the car, we had to take responsibility for continuing to work, but not with the same intensity. We had to tell the runners that we were going to work 250 kilometers and that no one was going to help us, he confided. And it was also difficult to control the race on the day in Tignes, although this stage turned out to be fantastic taking a lot of time for the rivals. But the day at Mont Ventoux was a moment of agony because, really, Vingegaard was stronger. But we were able to limit the damage, even with him. “
A real moment of weakness
The Mont-Ventoux stage was the only one in which Tadej Pogacar lost time on his rivals, with the second time trial, run with the hand brake in order to take no risk. “It was very hot that day and he couldn’t follow Jonas Vingegaard in the last kilometer. It was a real moment of weakness, the only one he had on this Tour, he agreed. But he remained calm because he knew there was a lot of downhill before the finish line. And he didn’t force the machine either. If the stage had ended at the top of Mont-Ventoux, it would have been something else. Vingegaard would surely have won, but Tadej Pogacar might not have been so far behind on the climb. “
The great heat therefore seems to be Tadej Pogacar’s Achilles heel. He also clearly recognized it during the second stage of rest. “Before the start of the Tour, there was only one thing that really scared me, it was… the heat. I’m not always very comfortable with her ”, he explained, assuring that he was reassured: “I can say that from now on I feel a little better in the heat, although these are clearly not the conditions that I prefer. “ Its competitors must nevertheless hope for heat waves in the next editions of the Tour …