Friday, April 19, 2024
HomeSportsTadej Pogacar, winner of the Tour of Catalonia, continues his duel at...

Tadej Pogacar, winner of the Tour of Catalonia, continues his duel at a good distance with Jonas Vingegaard, while waiting for the Tour de France

If Pogacar and Vingegaard don’t let go of each other during the Tour de France, these two prefer to avoid each other the rest of the year. Each on their own, the two cyclists multiply prestigious victories, in anticipation of their reunion, on June 29, in Florence, for the start of the Tour de France 2024. Sunday March 24, the Slovenian, final winner of the Tour of Catalonia, sent a new message to his Danish rival, winning the seventh and final stage in Barcelona – his fourth success of the week in this event.

Read also | Cycling: Tadej Pogacar crushes the competition at the Tour of Catalonia

Dominant in the mountains, the double winner of the Tour de France has, in a more original way, put on the sprinter’s hat to settle a group of tough guys during the last stage. In a disorganized final race, where the Frenchman Dorian Godon (Decathlon-AG2R) held the rope for a long time, Pogacar burst out powerfully to get ahead of him and raise his arms at the finish line. The day before, he had won a solo mountain stage of 154 km which included five passes, including one out of category – a significant riot of energy.

The mountain… and the sprint

But the insatiable Slovenian obviously does not want to give up a stage to his opponents, even when the race profile is less suited to his qualities, and even if the general classification was already decided. He is ahead of the Basque Mikel Landa (+3 min 41) and the Colombian Egan Bernal (+5 min 03) who continues his redemption, two years after his serious accident. With the tunic of best young person on his shoulders, the Frenchman Lenny Martinez (Groupama-FDJ) finished in an encouraging seventh place.

With this new victory in the Tour of Catalonia, Tadej Pogacar continues his ideal start to the season. His worst performance? A third place at Milan-San Remo, a week ago, where the Slovenian failed to get rid of the sprinters. After his demonstration during the Strade Bianche at the beginning of March, flown over thanks to a solo raid of 80 kilometers, the three-time winner of the Tour of Lombardy continues to gain momentum.

In the sights of the leader of the UAE team: the Giro 2024 (from May 4 to 26) but also and above all, the Tour de France, where the Slovenian hopes (finally) to beat Jonas Vingegaard. Tadej Pogacar aims to become the first rider since Italian Marco Pantani in 1998 to win the Giro and the Tour de France (June 29-July 21) in the same year. To prepare, he will skip the Flandrian races, but must still race Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Sunday April 21, before joining Italy.

“Our rivalry for the moment boils down to the Tour de France”

For his part, Jonas Vingegaard is not to be outdone: the double title holder of the Tour de France has an even crazier victory ratio. On Gran Camino, an event organized in Galicia, he only missed the first stage, a time trial won by the young Welshman Joshua Tarling (Ineos Grenadiers). He then flew over Tirreno-Adriatico, grabbing seven victories, each time solo, over 11 days of cycling.

The rest of the program for the Dane from Visma-Lease a bike consists of two stage races: the Tour of the Basque Country in April, and the Dauphiné in June, each time with Remco Evenepoel and Primoz Roglic as main rivals. Before, of course, aiming for a third consecutive success in the Tour de France, in July.

In the meantime, the two men continue their parallel epic, leaving only crumbs for their competitors. The rare victories that elude them are the subject of excuses from the riders concerned: “I’m a good runner I think, but I’m not Jonas Vingegaard. I stay in reality and keep my feet on the ground. I don’t think I can win a Grand Tour”, declared the American Matteo Jorgenson, winner of Paris-Nice on March 10. This season, the two riders seem simply out of category.

Read also about the Tour de France 2023 | Article reserved for our subscribers Tour de France 2023: the duel between Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogacar, from the war of seconds to the knockout. final

This competition at a distance – a real alternating custody of the trophies – therefore raises expectations around the Tour de France, the only event where the two men will face each other. A situation of exclusivity that Pogacar had put into perspective, during an interview with The Teamat the start of the season: “Our rivalry at the moment boils down to the Tour de France, but I think in the future we will meet in other races and we will have a rivalry that will go down in the history books “, then estimated the 25-year-old runner. Only the Grande Boucle, this year, will be entitled to this choice poster.

The World with AFP

Reuse this content

Recent posts