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Roger De Vlaeminck on Pogacar: ‘Not even half of what Merckx was’

Roger De Vlaeminck on Pogacar: 'Not even half of what Merckx was'

They say opinions are like saddles, everybody has one, and they all stink. Well good news, folks, former pro Roger De Vlaeminck, who is known to be outspoken, has gone in on the current state of affairs on pro road racing.

De Vlaeminck, is, to be fair, a Belgian cycling legend, who dominated the sport during the 1970s. Renowned for his versatility, he excelled in both road and cyclocross. Throughout his career, De Vlaeminck amassed an impressive record of victories, including four Paris-Roubaix titles and three wins at the Giro d’Italia. His prowess on rough terrain and in adverse conditions earned him the nickname, “Monsieur Paris-Roubaix.”

He also claimed victories in the Tour of Flanders and Milan-San Remo. Although he’s 76 now, he still follows the sport, and has plenty of opinions. He shared a whole bunch on the Dutch site, Wieler Revue.

“Eddy Merckx was something else, wasn’t he? There is absolutely no comparison possible between Pogačar and Merckx. Pogačar is a fantastic rider and the Strade Bianche is a tough race but not a super race. He rode away at 90 km from the finish and no one could follow,” he said. “I guarantee: if I had been on his wheel, he would never have dropped me in my good form. Never in his life! Just like Francesco Moser and Beppe Saronni couldn’t either.”

The Belgian also reflected on Pogi’s first Giro.

“Pogačar is now going to the Giro, but in Italy there are no good riders at the moment,” he shared with zero tact, as per usual. “You have Filippo Ganna who can do a bit of time trialling, but he is not an absolute top rider. Who can explain to me why there are no more great riders in Italy?” (Side note, “a bit of time trialling.”)

De Vlaeminck was truly one of the greats, but, at the same time, how are those clouds and can they handle the yelling? This isn’t quite the case of Uncle Matt, where the older he gets, the faster he was. Uncle Roger was one of the greats. But despite his achievements, De Vlaeminck does not mince words, comparing the incomparable.

“Pogacar is a top rider and by far the best in the world, with Mathieu van der Poel a close second. Unfortunately, Mathieu can’t keep up in the mountains. That would have been an exciting duel. But Pogacar isn’t even half the rider Merckx was,” he said. “If Merckx were to race in the same Giro as Pogacar, Pogačar would be five minutes behind in the general classification.”

Unfortunately, we cannot test this theory….

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Canadian Cycling Magazine…