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Tour of Italy: after conquering the Giro, it's time for the Tour de France for Pogacar

Veni, vidi, vici: after three weeks & fly over the Tour of Italy, Tadej Pogacar entered the race in the eternal city like a Roman emperor on Sunday to celebrate his success and turn already to the future. towards his next goal: the Tour de France.

Six stage victories, as many as the great Eddy Merckx in 1973, an abysmal lead over his runner-up Daniel Martinez in the general, 9 min 56 sec, the biggest gap since 1965, and an impression of disconcerting ease, at the risk of a certain boredom: the Slovenian dominated the Giro from start to finish, taking the pink jersey on the second day to bring it to the foot of the Coliseum on Sunday.

This triumph from its first Giro adds a new piece to his collection of trophies which is growing day by day: at only 25 years old, the Komenda ogre already has 77 successes including two Tours de France, six Monuments and a string of other classics and stage races.

Tour of Italy: after conquering the Giro, it's time for the Tour de France for Pogacar

Belgian Tim Merlier wins the 21st and final stage of the Giro in a sprint, May 26, 2024 in Rome © AFP – Luca Bettini

More than ever, he follows in the footsteps of Merckx, the greatest runner of all time with whom he shares the same gluttonous appetite.

At the Giro, no one came close to him until the last stage, won by the Belgian Tim Merlier in a sprint.

Daniel Martinez has finally confirmed in a Grand Tour and will be a luxury lieutenant for Primoz Roglic at the Tour de France. Geraint Thomas, a brave third at 38, held on but without the slightest illusion against Pogacar, “the best runner I have raced against and yet I have known good ones”.

– “Superman” –

Tour of Italy: after conquering the Giro, it's time for the Tour de France for Pogacar

The Giro peloton in front of the Colosseum during the last stage, May 26, 2024 in Rome © AFP – Luca Bettini

Pogacar can now devote himself to the second part of his great challenge: winning the Giro and the Tour de France in the same year, which has not been achieved since Marco Pantani in 1998.

< p>On the other hand, he ruled out participating in the Tour of Spain, preferring to target the World Championships in Zurich at the end of September, another major objective.

“Obviously that “He can do the Giro-Tour double. He is so strong. I am proud to be his teammate,” said the Austrian Felix Grosschartner. “Tadej ? It's Superman”, summed up Rafal Majka, his faithful lieutenant at UAE.

Some were worried in the run-up to the Tour de France (29 June-July 21) of the state of fatigue of “Pogi” after three weeks scrapping in Italy in sometimes complicated climatic conditions.

A priori, there is nothing to fear, because he still looked fresh on Sunday, dressed all in pink in the streets of Rome.

Certainly he did not particularly save himself in Italy – “he can't help but race”, noted Romain Bardet, 9th overall – and on Saturday evening Pogacar spoke of “three difficult weeks” where he was a little sick, sometimes slept poorly and had to respond to countless requests.

– “So slow” –

But he also felt he finished “in good shape” and with “morale high” before enjoying a few days of rest, then leaving for an altitude course at Isola 2000.

“This victory at the Giro gives me great momentum for the Tour de France”, he assures.

Tour of Italy: after conquering the Giro, it&#39;s time for the Tour de France for Pogacar

Tadej Pogacar's UAE team (c) during the last stage of the Giro, May 26, 2024 in Rome © AFP – Luca Bettini

Of the four “fantastic”, it is clearly he who presents the most guarantees four weeks before the Tour.

Outgoing double winner, Jonas Vingegaard has just returned to training after his multiple fractures at the Tour du Pays Basque, while Remco Evenepoel and Primoz Roglic, injured in the same fall, will not return to competition until next Sunday at the Critérium du Dauphiné.

As it stands, Pogacar is favorite to become the eighth rider to complete the Giro-Tour double in the same year (after Pantani, Indurain, Roche, Hinault, Merckx, Anquetil and Coppi) and continue his duel from a distance with the legends of the past, under the often powerless gaze of his contemporaries.

“Jonas (Vingegaard) is the only one to evolve at the same level as him , but we have to see how he will be (in the Tour de France), analyzed Geraint Thomas. It's incredible the talent he has. So versatile, aggressive, all year round. looks so slow.”

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116