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Tadej Pogačar: ‘I think Visma is underestimating the others’

Tadej Pogačar: ‘I think Visma is underestimating the others’

The leader of the Tour de France, Tadej Pogačar called out Visma – Lease a Bike’s choices after Stage 9 – the ‘gravel stage.’

Anthony Turgis emerged victorious in Troyes after navigating through gravel sectors totaling 32.2 km over 199 km. Despite skirmishes among the contenders and attempts by the yellow jersey to apply pressure, there were no changes at the top of the GC. The stage included 14 gravel sectors, with the longest being 4.6 km (sector #5) and another notable sector at 4 km. Pogačar went on the attack several times, even breaking clear with his rival Jonas Vingegaard.

“I think Visma – Lease a Bike is only focusing on me and underestimating the other contenders,” Pogačar said after the race. At one point, both he, Remco Evenepoel, and the Dane got away with 75 km to go. “The three of us got away there. I think it was a great opportunity to gain time on the other contenders and secure the podium, but Jonas refused to cooperate. They are only following me, without considering Primož Roglič or Remco.”

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There were other factors than the gravel that shaped the race, notably some blustery conditions. “It’s a shame there was a headwind in the section towards the finish, which made it impossible for me to break away in the final stages,” Pogačar said. “The gravel stage was a lot of fun. There was a lot of sand and dust everywhere, so it was impossible to get a clear picture of the race. You just had to ride on instinct and strength.”

Overall, the yellow jersey was pleased after the stage and excited for the rest of the Tour.

“I had great legs, which is fantastic news because this was one of the difficult stages,” he said. “I’m very happy with my Tour so far. I feel a lot of confidence because I’m in great shape and have a very strong team around me.”

The riders at the Tour de France will have a well-deserved rest day on Monday, but the action resumes on Tuesday with a flat stage in Orléans.

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