Tadej Pogačar discussion thread

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We can finally see what actually happened!
And actually that was a great comeback from Pogacar to catch Roglic, it's no wonder he had no sprint left at the end.
I still don't understand why he gave Roglic so much leeway. There were two big favorites, him and Roglic. Why was he gambling that other riders (who had less chances to begin with) would close the gap?

Of course it was also to Roglic's credit that it was so much work to close the gap for Pogacar, so it's not like Roglic didn't burn any matches. And i honestly don't think the outcome would have been different, but it would have been closer for sure.
 
Pogačar is 21 years old, aims at podium on every race he participates and has a great rival and mentor in Roglič.

I don't know what the UAE strategy will be on TDF, regarding Pogačar, but there is a chance Pogačar will go for podium and there is a realistic chance he could make it. Personally i don't know if it is too early for that, maybe going after some stage wins would be better, but regardless, can't wait to see Pogačar competing in this years TDF.
 
The team support is likely still a bit of a problem. Pogačar likely should be able to cope with the favorites, but getting him there, stage after stage, not sure if UAE is there yet. Or i guess other teams are hoping for a bit of a spat in TJV and/or INEOS.

We'll see!
 
After Roglic and Bernal he has as good chance as anyone.
I still think it's a bit too soon to make that call, honestly. People are really reading a lot in his Vuelta podium, which was deserved, but also helped by circumstances. I've talked about it a few times but not everybody likes what i have to say, so i'll refrain from repeating it. I think his ambition should be a top 5. Because it is realistic, and because it keeps the pressure off. I would call him an outsider for the podium, but let's say a few guys crash out (which always happens) he's certainly got a shot, but there are a few guys i still rate higher for the time being. On the other hand, if he finishes 7th in this strong field, it's nothing to be ashamed of either.

Pogačar is 21 years old, aims at podium on every race he participates and has a great rival and mentor in Roglič.

I don't know what the UAE strategy will be on TDF, regarding Pogačar, but there is a chance Pogačar will go for podium and there is a realistic chance he could make it. Personally i don't know if it is too early for that, maybe going after some stage wins would be better, but regardless, can't wait to see Pogačar competing in this years TDF.
He should definitely go for GC. If something happens, or if he feels it's too much too soon, he can still go for stagewin instead. But he's basically a lock for a top 10 spot, perhaps top 5 or better, then you should always go for GC.

The team support is likely still a bit of a problem. Pogačar likely should be able to cope with the favorites, but getting him there, stage after stage, not sure if UAE is there yet. Or i guess other teams are hoping for a bit of a spat in TJV and/or INEOS.

We'll see!
Jumbo will ride after Ineos, and Ineos will ride after Jumbo. When both are together, the tempo will drop. I don't think his team should be a problem. With so many GC favorites, he will always have allies by his side who share the same interests.
 
The team support is likely still a bit of a problem. Pogačar likely should be able to cope with the favorites, but getting him there, stage after stage, not sure if UAE is there yet. Or i guess other teams are hoping for a bit of a spat in TJV and/or INEOS.

We'll see!
Formolo, Polanc and De La Cruz (besides Aru, but when has Aru worked for someone else in a GT?) are really solid domestiques for the mountains. Marcato brings lots of experience for the flat stages and a big engine like Bystrom can help out when he is needed (mainly on the potential crosswinds stage).
Yes, it's not JV or Ineos, but they can compete with pretty much every other team.
 
The "problem" i see is IF TJV and INEOS will manage to secure a spot on podium, there is one place left for others. And there is a high chance somebody else from TJV or INEOS will be in great position to claim it. In that case aiming high in general classification is a good strategy, but the focus should be on securing some stage wins. If we look at Roglič, he internationally didn't went after GC, at a first couple of GT races he participated, and i feel that was a good strategy.

P.S. Team TJV or INEOS could fail to meet the expectations. In that case it should be a bit easier to get on the podium. The key here i guess is, to determine on how realistic it is for that to happen.
 
The "problem" i see is IF TJV and INEOS will manage to secure a spot on podium, there is one place left for others. And there is a high chance somebody else from TJV or INEOS will be in great position to claim it. In that case aiming high in general classification is a good strategy, but the focus should be on securing some stage wins. If we look at Roglič, he internationally didn't went after GC, at a first couple of GT races he participated, and i feel that was a good strategy.

P.S. Team TJV or INEOS could fail to meet the expectations. In that case it should be a bit easier to get on the podium. The key here i guess is, to determine on how realistic it is for that to happen.
I think he'll have better chances at a stage win, by going for GC, being "up there" every day, than by going stagehunting and picking out two or three stages with a breakaway attack. if he manages to hold on with a small group of favorites, with +/- 6 riders, with his finishing ability, he's always got a chance. If the others are higher placed in GC, he could take advantage of that as well, when they start eyeballing each other. Look at what happened in the Vuelta, look at what happened in the Giro. But again, he'll need some luck to get on the podium. I can see him finish 6th and win a stage or maybe two, more easily.
 
He certainly has a chance to podium, but I honestly don't expect it because there are so many candidates this year.
It's not just Roglic and Bernal.
Quintana has a chance. Pinot has a chance. Buchmann has a chance. Those are the ones that are high up on my list, but there are several others as well for whom could be made a case.

Pogacar is clever, he's strong, he might still get underestimated by his rivals. But my guess would be he's not the third best GT rider in the world, yet.

However the most important thing for him is to stay away from any new drinks the team is offering him.
 
The team support is likely still a bit of a problem. Pogačar likely should be able to cope with the favorites, but getting him there, stage after stage, not sure if UAE is there yet. Or i guess other teams are hoping for a bit of a spat in TJV and/or INEOS.

We'll see!
Unless he takes yellow early and the team have to work in the front on flatter and hilly days then his team should be decent enough to offer some useful support
 
For me, if Pogačar will finish in top 10, i will perceive that as success. Now i guess there are more possible strategies, as i see it, the main two are, to go after GC, then Pogačar will likely need to sacrifice a stage win or two, or to go after a stage win or two and to sacrifice a place or two in GC.

The mind says Pogačar should likely focus on achieving a stage win or two and to finis in top 10, the heart says stay close to Roglič and go for the podium.

We'll see.
 
The mind says Pogačar should likely focus on achieving a stage win or two and to finis in top 10, the heart says stay close to Roglič and go for the podium.
If he can stay close to Roglic, he'll have more than one possibility to get a stagewin as well. The thing is, you can "want" him to stay close to Roglic, that doesn't mean he will be able to. Or even if he is able to, there might be other guys with a better ITT, who can also stay close to Roglic (Thomas, Dumoulin...) and he still wouldn't have any guarantees regarding his ranking.

I think he should just try to go for GC as good as he possibly can, and along the way there will be one or two chances to take a stagewin that present themselves. My prediction would be, somewhere between 5th and 8th with a stagewin in his pocket. Podium might be possible, if all the pieces fall into place (which includes some rivals crashing out).
 
I still think it's a bit too soon to make that call, honestly. People are really reading a lot in his Vuelta podium, which was deserved, but also helped by circumstances. I've talked about it a few times but not everybody likes what i have to say, so i'll refrain from repeating it. I think his ambition should be a top 5. Because it is realistic, and because it keeps the pressure off. I would call him an outsider for the podium, but let's say a few guys crash out (which always happens) he's certainly got a shot, but there are a few guys i still rate higher for the time being. On the other hand, if he finishes 7th in this strong field, it's nothing to be ashamed of either.


He should definitely go for GC. If something happens, or if he feels it's too much too soon, he can still go for stagewin instead. But he's basically a lock for a top 10 spot, perhaps top 5 or better, then you should always go for GC.



Jumbo will ride after Ineos, and Ineos will ride after Jumbo. When both are together, the tempo will drop. I don't think his team should be a problem. With so many GC favorites, he will always have allies by his side who share the same interests.
I think he should definitely go in with a GC mindset, but if Aru is publicly named as team leader then that complicates things. There are so many strong riders that even a top 10 would be an accomplishment. On paper I can think of at least 7 riders who are measurably better: Bernal, Thomas, Froome, Roglic, Dumoulin, Pinot, and (early 2020 form) Quintana.

Plus you've got other Top 5/10 wildcards like SK, Aru, Buchmann, Landa, Porte, even Warren Barguil and whichever Yates brother shows up with GC ambitions. I'm probably missing someone or misstating who will actually enter the TdF, but the point is, this TdF is probably the opposite of the 2019 Vuelta as far as depth of GC field.
 
I think he should definitely go in with a GC mindset, but if Aru is publicly named as team leader then that complicates things. There are so many strong riders that even a top 10 would be an accomplishment. On paper I can think of at least 7 riders who are measurably better: Bernal, Thomas, Froome, Roglic, Dumoulin, Pinot, and (early 2020 form) Quintana.

Plus you've got other Top 5/10 wildcards like SK, Aru, Buchmann, Landa, Porte, even Warren Barguil and whichever Yates brother shows up with GC ambitions. I'm probably missing someone or misstating who will actually enter the TdF, but the point is, this TdF is probably the opposite of the 2019 Vuelta as far as depth of GC field.
I completely agree on most of your post. But i don't think saying Aru is GC leader is complicating things for Pogacar. If anything, it's to keep the pressure away. Is there really anybody who thinks that Aru has a better shot at GC than Pogacar? Imho, they're not fooling anyone, but if it helps keeping the press off his doorstep and stress levels within check, that's fine by me. I simply can't see a scenario where they are realistically favoring Aru over him for GC. That means it's just to lower expectations and keep the pressure off, which can only be a good thing.

I also agree on the comparison with the Vuelta last year, where all of his competitors had already ridden a GT (Roglic, Lopez, Valverde, Quintana, Majka and let's add Soler, Nieve, Fuglsang, Knox and Teuns even) or had a horrible year with injuries (Kelderman). The only other guy in the top 10 was... CF Hagen. Still there were more than one instances where Pogacar had to let go of the favorites, and came back after the tempo dropped. If that happens in the TDF, you can be sure someone at the front is going to hammer it to get rid of him. He's going to be a dominating figure the coming years, but i think this year is a bit too soon to see him battle for the win in the TDF, or even the podium (but i won't rule it out). Like i said, realistically and taking into account his natural progression, i think his ambition should be top 5, and i expect he'll finish 5th-8th, depending on circumstances. All his competitors will be 100% in for the Tour, it won't be like last year's Vuelta, where (on top of an easier course) the opposition had not made the Vuelta their main goal of the season, where the opposition was not as dense, and not as good and more fatigued. In fact, i think if he went to this year's TDF with last year's Vuelta form, he might not make the top 10.
 
Formolo, Polanc and De La Cruz (besides Aru, but when has Aru worked for someone else in a GT?) are really solid domestiques for the mountains. Marcato brings lots of experience for the flat stages and a big engine like Bystrom can help out when he is needed (mainly on the potential crosswinds stage).
Yes, it's not JV or Ineos, but they can compete with pretty much every other team.
Rewatching (who isn't?) GTs for the umpteenth time the major attribute Pogacar brings is tactical awareness. He works to be in position but doesn't seem to be accompanied by any teammates except Aru who is artfully minding the back door. Maybe he's not in enough pack video to see his other teammates at critical times but he's good at making his way and picking strong allies. If he gets to a legitimate podium position in the last week it'll be an opportunistic move that secures it. Not sure his guys can defend him in mountainous territory with all of the talent that will be firing off this Tour.
 
Rewatching (who isn't?) GTs for the umpteenth time the major attribute Pogacar brings is tactical awareness. He works to be in position but doesn't seem to be accompanied by any teammates except Aru who is artfully minding the back door. Maybe he's not in enough pack video to see his other teammates at critical times but he's good at making his way and picking strong allies. If he gets to a legitimate podium position in the last week it'll be an opportunistic move that secures it. Not sure his guys can defend him in mountainous territory with all of the talent that will be firing off this Tour.
That's indeed something i mentioned in the past. His tactical awareness is one of his biggest strengths. He seems very intelligent and cunning. This was apparent especially in the Vuelta, but also Pais Vasco and California. I was surprised he made such a mistake in the Slovenian nationals.
 

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