Tadej Pogačar has said that his wide-ranging focus on races throughout the season, including Monument Classics in the spring and autumn, is “not ideal” in his quest for further Tour de France glory next summer.
In contrast with his main yellow jersey rival Jonas Vingegaard, the Slovenian doesn’t gear his calendar entirely around the July Grand Tour, instead opting to take on races such as the Tour of Flanders, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, and the Road World Championships.
Despite winning three major Classics this spring in Flanders, Amstel Gold Race and La Flèche Wallonne, Pogačar eventually came unstuck at the Tour after a battle to regain fitness following a broken wrist sustained in a crash at Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
“The Tour is the most important race in cycling. Nothing compares to it. For the sponsors they just want to win the Tour,” Pogačar said in an interview with Flobikes. “Everybody knows it in the whole world, even in non cycling. Other races cannot compare to the Tour.
“Maybe it costs me that I prepare for the Flanders and the Ardennes and Lombardia in the end, and all these kind of races. It’s not ideal but it’s what I like – to race different challenges throughout the year.
“For me, it’s hard to focus just on July because I know I can be good during the first part of the season and also the last part. It’s hard to just focus on the middle part of the season where I know that I don’t like it the most.”
Pogačar also outlined several races he’d like to add to his glittering palmarès, which includes two Tours and five Monuments. The Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España are on his hitlist, as are the rainbow stripes of world champion.
“From now, after my career, I would like to be world champion as well,” he said. “I won a lot of races, big ones, I won more or less all the Monuments that I can win, the Tour de France two times.
“There are three things left for me – the Giro, Vuelta and World Championships. It’s a dream and a challenge. We’ll see in ten years what’s going to be.”
Pogačar, who raced seven Classics through the spring this year while Vingegaard built up to the Tour via four stage races, has said that his 2024 calendar hasn’t yet been worked out.
He said that his UAE Team Emirates team also has to take into account the goals of other riders on the squad but noted that he and team management will get together to work out his season plans soon.
“I have my desires and the team has other things in mind, but I think we’ll slowly come…