• The Cycling News forum is looking to add some volunteer moderators with Red Rick's recent retirement. If you're interested in helping keep our discussions on track, send a direct message to @SHaines here on the forum, or use the Contact Us form to message the Community Team.

    In the meanwhile, please use the Report option if you see a post that doesn't fit within the forum rules.

    Thanks!

Tour de France 2024 - The battle of the big 4

Page 7 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
The problem of Pogacar is not the riding of the Giro itself. Winning his sixt stage Pogacar still seemed very strong and fresh. But after the Giro, Pogacar can only rest for at most three days. The time remaining until the Tour is too short to reduce and then rebuild top form. So, after the short rest (and traveling home and/or to the training location) he has to keep his form high till the start of the Tour de France. That will cause the "fatigue" that will lead to weakening during the second half of the Tour. I don't know whether this will mean that he will no longer be able to follow Vingegaard (at 98%) and Roglic and Evenepoel during the second half of the Tour. Or that he will have built up enough of a lead during the first week (hill stages and Galibier) to compensate for the weakening during the last days.
He said he will rest for a week and then go to altitude for a couple of weeks.
 
The problem of Pogacar is not the riding of the Giro itself. Winning his sixt stage Pogacar still seemed very strong and fresh. But after the Giro, Pogacar can only rest for at most three days. The time remaining until the Tour is too short to reduce and then rebuild top form. So, after the short rest (and traveling home and/or to the training location) he has to keep his form high till the start of the Tour de France. That will cause the "fatigue" that will lead to weakening during the second half of the Tour. I don't know whether this will mean that he will no longer be able to follow Vingegaard (at 98%) and Roglic and Evenepoel during the second half of the Tour. Or that he will have built up enough of a lead during the first week (hill stages and Galibier) to compensate for the weakening during the last days.

He will have a week of total rest. I agree this between Giro-Tour period is way too little time for another form building cycle. They indeed are aiming to prolong his top form by this rest period + training + another rest just before the Tour. It's a hard task but keep in mind that he's been in a great form since start of March with no signs of slowing down. They want to prolong it even more till the end of the Tour and according to a recent interview relatively small number of racing days so far (31) is the foundation of it.

There is also another possibility: he hasn't peaked yet and will do it at the Tour (if it's possible that the Giro was a part of form building process without peaking and without exhaustion...I will believe it only when I see it). Reading some UAE interviews it's almost looking this way.
 
Last edited:
He will have a week of total rest. I agree this Giro-Tour period is way too little time for another form building cycle. They indeed are aiming to prolong his top form by this rest period + training + another rest just before the Tour. It's a hard task but keep in mind that he's been in a great form since start of March with no signs of slowing down. They want to prolong it even more till the end of the Tour and according to a recent interview relatively small number of racing days so far (31) is the foundation of it.

There is also another possibility: he hasn't peaked yet and will do it at the Tour (only if it's possible that the Giro was a part of form building process...I will believe it only when I see it)
I'm not blaming Pogacar and his team to to try out the double. In contrary. It's fantastic for the sport and the spectacle. I'm just stating that Pogacar won't be able to perform at top level for the entire Tour. Which is good for his opponents and even more so for us, the audience. Pogacar seems to have become even stronger this season. If he would only contest the Tour and Vingegaard would also be in top form, I think the battle would have been very even. With perhaps a slight preference for Pogacar.
Pogacar with the double and Vingegaard in top form, then Vingegaard always wins (same situation as last year). As it looks now, with Vingegaard at 98% (or not participating), Roglic perfectly prepared, Bernal perfectly prepared, Evenepoel at 99%, then Roglic wins ahead of Pogacar, Vingegaard, Evenepoel and Bernal (although numbers three, four and five also could change places).
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sandisfan
I'm just stating that Pogacar won't be able to perform at top level for the entire Tour.

I don't disagree, this is an absolutely logical conclusion. Time will tell what Pogacar and UAE have in store for the Tour, I'm curious myself. Pogacar is an extraordinary rider, who can be close to top form for months so who knows, maybe they will defy logic.
 
I don't disagree, this is an absolutely logical conclusion. Time will tell what Pogacar and UAE have in store for the Tour, I'm curious myself. Pogacar is an extraordinary rider, who can be close to top form for months so who knows, maybe they will defy logic.
With Vingegaard in top form, logic would be respected, and Vingegaard would win.

I am convinced that Pogacar will be prepared in such a way that he will still be close to his top form. Without Vingegaard (or not in top form) he may still win the Tour. Because Roglic (almost 35), Evenepoel (not at his best in a three weeks Tour) and Bernal (with his level of 2019, but not further evolved) are one level lower.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sandisfan
I don't disagree, this is an absolutely logical conclusion. Time will tell what Pogacar and UAE have in store for the Tour, I'm curious myself. Pogacar is an extraordinary rider, who can be close to top form for months so who knows, maybe they will defy logic.
I felt he was a bit fading last year in the Ardennes classics. The Pogacar at the level of De Ronde would have done an even better job at Amstel. But this year he is stronger, AND a different trainer which might make all the difference.
 
With Vingegaard in top form, logic would be respected, and Vingegaard would win.

I am convinced that Pogacar will be prepared in such a way that he will still be close to his top form. Without Vingegaard (or not in top form) he may still win the Tour. Because Roglic (almost 35), Evenepoel (not at his best in a three weeks Tour) and Bernal (with his level of 2019, but not further evolved) are one level lower.
You think Bernal will captain Ineos and not Rodriguez?
 
  • Wow
Reactions: Sandisfan
I’ll be stunned if Vingegaard starts let alone is competitive. I’m calling it the big three.

With Vingo out I’m tipping Pog to prevail but no doubt both Remco and Roglic will cause him some anxiety.

As for Pog’s recovery after the Giro, I think there are signs he wasn’t at his peak level in the Giro except the TT and maybe stage 20. Competition wasn’t great. Then as others have pointed out he didn’t do a stint of altitude training before the Giro. He will before the TdF. Plus, his UAE team will likely be stronger than it has ever been.

UAE have clearly planned all guns blazing to avenge the last two years - with at least a Giro title. But with Vingo likely out I think their eyes lit up at the prospect of pulling off the double.
 
I felt he was a bit fading last year in the Ardennes classics. The Pogacar at the level of De Ronde would have done an even better job at Amstel. But this year he is stronger, AND a different trainer which might make all the difference.
I have heard this as as argument from Logic as well. Pogi had a flat, instantly closed the gap at a very hard and crucial point in the race and massacred them again once he joined the group. I saw an absolutely flying Pogacar in that race tbf.

In Fleche he was just whatever. Not a great race for him, did what was needed.

Pogi in that shape will always have the upper hand against Remco in Liege due to his sprint.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sandisfan
I have heard this as as argument from Logic as well. Pogi had a flat, instantly closed the gap at a very hard and crucial point in the race and massacred them again once he joined the group. I saw an absolutely flying Pogacar in that race tbf.

In Fleche he was just whatever. Not a great race for him, did what was needed.

Pogi in that shape will always have the upper hand against Remco in Liege due to his sprint.
Wasn’t really able to massacre Healy. Without the help from the directors Healy would’ve closed the gap and they would’ve finished together. He still would’ve won, but this wasn’t the same Pogacar as he was at De Ronde.

Which is normal, you can’t expect him to be at his best from Strade to Liège.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Froome
Wasn’t really able to massacre Healy. Without the help from the directors Healy would’ve closed the gap and they would’ve finished together. He still would’ve won, but this wasn’t the same Pogacar as he was at De Ronde.

Which is normal, you can’t expect him to be at his best from Strade to Liège.
Healy only gained 12" from when he attacked Pidcock, then on Bemelerberg Pogi extended his lead by 18".

And he didn't ride Strade last year. But this year he did seem to be ~at his best from Strade to Liège (or just good enough to dominate).
 
You are comparing Pog to straight up beating MVDP in his favorite race at 100%. Of course he's gonna look worse, everything he's gonna do from that point on is gonna look worse. But he was still riding damn impressively at Amstel. Having that puncture was massive deal at that point of the race and it still looked relatively easy for him to drop everyone just after.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SHAD0W93