Tadej Pogačar discussion thread

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Actually, I think they play it all wrong. It's Aru who can benefit from lack of pressure, as he is the one nobody really believes in. But with his surgery last year, he may have solved his primary problem. Then he embarked upon a ridiculously dense calendar he was not at all ready for so he never showed whether he had actually regained full health.
 
AFAIK Polanc will work for Pogačar on the Tour. Beyond that it's totally up to Aru, i guess. He can claim the captain role on TDF 2020, if he will be able to deliver. It's not like Aru isn't capable of doing it, it's just that in the past couple of seasons, he struggled a bit. If Aru would be able to do "Quintana", he will end up being the captain, if not, then Pogačar will claim that role.
 
AFAIK Polanc will work for Pogačar on the Tour. Beyond that it's totally up to Aru, i guess. He can claim the captain role on TDF 2020, if he will be able to deliver. It's not like Aru isn't capable of doing it, it's just that in the past couple of seasons, he struggled a bit. If Aru would be able to do "Quintana", he will end up being the captain, if not, then Pogačar will claim that role.
Even Aru in his prime isn't the better of what can be expected from Pogacar at this point. It would still be a two leader deal, in that (unlikely) scenario. I'm sure they're hoping to get some of that Vuelta mojo going again, where nobody believed Pogacar was an actual contender until it was too late, but i'm pretty sure they've all learned their lesson. If they see him dangling, they won't spare him, if they see him attacking, they won't let him. The same goes for Evenepoel in the Giro (who hasn't even done a GT yet), but they're not going to sit by and watch idly. Even Evenepoel is saying he's going for GC and will try to win if the opportunity arises, and if not, one day in pink would already be great. But saying the nr3 of last years Vuelta, who's been kicking ass in early season stageraces for the past two years now, is only going to "learn" (while turning 22 a month later, lest we forget, these guys get older too) seems a bit disingenuous.
 
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I feel that some of you are a bit unrealistic, when it comes to Pogačar and the expectations. I don't feel that is a particularly good thing for Pogačar. As due to such high expectations, he now has much bigger chance of failing. At this point of his career, he shouldn't be in such position, it's forced.
 
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I feel that some of you are a bit unrealistic, when it comes to Pogačar and the expectations. I don't feel that is a particularly good thing for Pogačar. As due to such high expectations, he now has much bigger chance of failing. At this point of his career, he shouldn't be in such position, it's forced.
Why would he have a bigger chance of failing? If he finishes 12th or 17th even with this years top TDF line-up, nobody will say he "failed". He's young, it's his first TDF, it would even still be better than 99% of all TDF winner debuts. That's just it, he can do no wrong really, even if he steps out of the race. But i think it's more realistic to expect him inside the top 10, than outside the top 15. I personally don't expect him to compete for the win, unlike some, but i do think he should aim for a nice top 10 spot, between 5th and 8th or about.
Imho there is a difference in saying you want to do as well as possible in GC, but will take it day by day and have no set goal. Than claiming a guy who's been crawling uphill backwards for the past few years and has no idea where he's at after his surgery, will be the leader, and you will only go to "learn".
Will people say Evenepoel "failed" if he doesn't win the Giro, even after he stated he'll go for GC and do the best he can? Well, maybe a few haters, but real cycling fans wouldn't see it as failing.
 
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Why would he have a bigger chance of failing? If he finishes 12th or 17th even with this years top TDF line-up, nobody will say he "failed". He's young, it's his first TDF, it would even still be better than 99% of all TDF winner debuts. That's just it, he can do no wrong really, even if he steps out of the race. But i think it's more realistic to expect him inside the top 10, than outside the top 15. I personally don't expect him to compete for the win, unlike some, but i do think he should aim for a nice top 10 spot, between 5th and 8th or about.
Imho there is a difference in saying you want to do as well as possible in GC, but will take it day by day and have no set goal. Than claiming a guy who's been crawling uphill backwards for the past few years and has no idea where he's at after his surgery, will be the leader, and you will only go to "learn".
Will people say Evenepoel "failed" if he doesn't win the Giro, even after he stated he'll go for GC and do the best he can? Well, maybe a few haters, but real cycling fans wouldn't see it as failing.
I would have to go back and dig up like a year and a half of Lefevre interviews and I'm not eager to do it.

Pog and Evenepoel not winning wouldn't exactly be failing. Still I'm not the biggest fan of setting the highest expectations of riders this age especially in their first Tour or even first GT overall.

As for Aru being called the leader, they have to be trolling.
 
Even Aru in his prime isn't the better of what can be expected from Pogacar at this point.
I wouldn't go that far. Aru finished 1st and 2nd in GTs in one year. I don't know if I see Pogacar ever doing that.

And as great as Pogacar was in the Vuelta, the Tour field will be on a completely different level. In the Vuelta, the competition was Roglic, Valverde, Lopez, Majka, and Nairo, all racing their 2nd GT of the year. That's a far cry from what we'll see at the Tour this year.

I agree that we'll likely see him finish in that 5-15 range somewhere but he's got plenty of time to protect a top 10 place. This year, I'd probably rather see him 10th-25th and going for stages in the mountains.

As for Aru, I'd like to see him get back to where he was but like you, I have no expectations of that. Maybe they announced him as leader for his confidence or ego or maybe they've seen signs in training, who knows?
 
I guess if there is still hope that Aru will finally fulfill some of his potential, it's not bad to give him this sign of trust.
It won't hurt Pogacar as it is not a sign they don't believe in him. I don't know Aru's character, but if they said "Tadej's our leader now (your time's up and you've never been that good anyway)" that might actually hurt him.
 
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I would have to go back and dig up like a year and a half of Lefevre interviews and I'm not eager to do it.

Pog and Evenepoel not winning wouldn't exactly be failing. Still I'm not the biggest fan of setting the highest expectations of riders this age especially in their first Tour or even first GT overall.

As for Aru being called the leader, they have to be trolling.
Not sure what you mean by those Lefevere interviews.

And i think there is a big difference between "expecting" a young guy to win, and letting him try and see where he lands even when going for GC.

I wouldn't go that far. Aru finished 1st and 2nd in GTs in one year. I don't know if I see Pogacar ever doing that.

And as great as Pogacar was in the Vuelta, the Tour field will be on a completely different level. In the Vuelta, the competition was Roglic, Valverde, Lopez, Majka, and Nairo, all racing their 2nd GT of the year. That's a far cry from what we'll see at the Tour this year.

I agree that we'll likely see him finish in that 5-15 range somewhere but he's got plenty of time to protect a top 10 place. This year, I'd probably rather see him 10th-25th and going for stages in the mountains.

As for Aru, I'd like to see him get back to where he was but like you, I have no expectations of that. Maybe they announced him as leader for his confidence or ego or maybe they've seen signs in training, who knows?
Nothing wrong with him going for stages, but then they could also just say that.

As for Aru finishing 1st and 2nd... That wasn't in a TDF and certainly not against a field like this year. Assuming Pogacar got a bit stronger than last year, i don't think he'd be far off that level.
 
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It's the same as it was in last year's Vuelta. Aru was the leader on paper with no.1 on his back probably. But everybody knows the main danger from UAE comes from Pogi. Even more this year than last because now we know he is a very capable GT rider and is only getting better.

As for Aru, I guess there's a small chance he'll get close to levels he once was. I'm not completely writing him off.
 

Yes, this article sums it up nicely. That is Pogačar is among the favourites, nonetheless Aru is the captain and Pogačar main goal is to learn. I will add by likely having the freedom to pursue his own goals, Polanc likely helping him.

The UAE team strategy sounds sensible and realistic, but somehow the pressure has build up, unless Pogačar finishes on podium, that will be considered a failure.

A stage win and/or a top 10 place in GC. That would already be more than amazing. For more, UAE team will need to choose Pogačar to be the captain and Pogačar will need an additional season or two to find himself in such position. No real point in forcing it too early, it's coming.
 
I think he is 3rd favourite for me behind Bernal and Roglic with him ideally placed to benefit from Ineos and Jumbo Visma becoming too consumed with a tactical, physical and psychological battle between themselves.

It certainly would not be in any way a failure if he ended up 8th and 5 minutes behind a podium position.
 
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The UAE team strategy sounds sensible and realistic, but somehow the pressure has build up, unless Pogačar finishes on podium, that will be considered a failure.
Again, what the hell? No it won't. Roglic, Bernal, Dumoulin, Froome, Pinot, Buchmann, Thomas, Kruijswijk, Yates, Lopez, Landa... Nobody in his right mind would call missing the podium a failure.
 
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