Tadej Pogacar is looking forward to spicy duels with Remco Evenepoel

Tadej Pogacar is looking forward to spicy duels with Remco Evenepoel
Tadej Pogacar is looking forward to spicy duels with Remco Evenepoel

His focus is now on the Canadian WorldTour races in Quebec and Montréal, but Tadej Pogacar also closely follows the Vuelta a España. Ask him about the battle on the Spanish roads and his eyes start to sparkle. The cycling enthusiast in him rises again. “Remco Evenepoel has certainly provided entertainment,” emphasizes Pogacar.

Actually, the two-time Tour de France winner has missed little of this Vuelta a España. He planned his workouts in the mornings and early afternoons to get straight behind the television when he got home. “Every day something happened, which has made it an exciting battle for almost three weeks.”

Evenepoel is the deserved winner for Pogacar. Certainly after his stage win on Friday at Alto del Piornal, the final win seems to be no longer able to escape him. “Remco is making a strong impression throughout the Vuelta and it looks like he will be the deserved winner. As a leader, he remains very calm and drives confidently.”

Pogacar is not surprised about Evenepoel’s performance. “Everyone knew that Remco is a very strong rider who can actually do anything. Whether it’s time trials or mountain stages, he can win on all terrains. He has prepared well for this Vuelta. He’s been looking forward to this for months. He lives up to all expectations.”

Does Pogacar see the young Belgian as a dangerous rival for the coming years in the Tour de France? “Yes absolutely. He will definitely be one of my main opponents in the Tour. It will in any case be an interesting year, with the number of riders who will fight for the overall victory in the Tour. How strong will Jonas Vingegaard be in the coming year? Hopefully Egan Bernal will come back to the top after his accident last year. And yes, with Remco we have a number of young riders with whom we can fight fantastic duels in the coming years.”

Favorites for GPC Quebec and Montreal with Tadej Pogacar, Michael Matthews, Greg Van Avermaet, Peter Sagan, Wout Van Aert and Geraint Thomas. Photo: Raymond Kerckhoffs

Pogacar is now in Canada for the first time in his life. The two WorldTour races in Quebec and Montreal must suit him well. “I like it here. I had already heard many enthusiastic stories about the competitions, the beautiful cities and the good organisation. I think I can handle both one-day races well. In my team they are convinced that I certainly have opportunities here. Furthermore, this is a good preparation for the World Cup in Australia.”

Especially Sunday’s game in Montreal has Pogacar circled red. “They are both track races. I normally like that. The race in Quebec is a bit more technical and will be a bit more difficult for me. Indeed, I mainly see opportunities in Montreal, because there are more altimeters and the climbs are a bit longer.”

Although we haven’t seen Pogacar in his first two races after the Tour de France, Clasica San Sebastian and the Bretagne Classic – Ouest France, he is happy with his form. ‘After the Tour I took a rest period and then resumed the training sessions. I am definitely motivated for the last part of the season. The World Cup is my big goal for the autumn, but I will certainly start here in Canada with ambitions.”

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The article is in Dutch

Tags: Tadej Pogacar spicy duels Remco Evenepoel

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