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Tadej Pogačar: ‘Never felt so good on the bike’

Our top 10 stories of the week…and it’s a lot of Tadej Pogačar (but not all!)

Three more sleeps! The Tour de France begins on Saturday in Florence and Slovenian Tadej Pogačar is stoked. After a dominant win at the Giro, he’s ready to take on the biggest Grand Tour in the world. In an interview with his Team UAE Emirates squad, he shared how he’s feeling about the upcoming race.

“Winning the Giro d’Italia was an incredible experience, one that I will always cherish. It meant a lot to me as it was my first time at the Giro. To win in the way we did, it was one of my biggest wins so far,” he said. “I was happy I got to celebrate with the team; they were with me for the three weeks and the training camps before. They mean a lot to me; we’re like a family and it was a special moment with them. I really enjoyed it; it was incredible!”

R & R post Giro

After the Giro, he relaxed a little bit, he said. He was actually quite eager to get back on the bike when he got home. During the first week, he did a few days of easy riding to the coffee shop and back home.

“I’m really looking forward to the start of the Tour; I think it’s going to be a special start for me because I won the Giro, and the Tour starts in Italy, so I think it’s going to be amazing! It’s looked like I’ve made a step forward since the Giro, and my shape is even better than what I expected,” he said. “I’ve done some good training, and I’ve tested my legs a little bit and to be honest, I have never felt so good on the bike. I’m really looking forward to seeing if I have improved in the race situations from the Giro, but I feel good so I cannot complain!”

Marc Madiot: ‘The Tour will be over in 3 or 4 days’

The Slovenian was incredible at the Giro, taking the maglia rosa from the second day and wearing it all the way to Rome. He also took six stage wins, a record shared with the great Eddy Merckx.

2023 vs. 2024

To say his preparation has been much smoother than 2023 is an understatement. After his crash at Liège–Bastogne–Liège, and fractured wrist, he had to take quite a bit of time off. He did ultimately ramp up his training but missed the crucial pre-Tour races.

“Last year was totally different because of the injury. No one prepares like that for the Tour if they’re not injured and so many things around me didn’t go well after the crash in Liege. I saw who was there to help me and who wasn’t. There was some disappointment and negative energy around, and it all built up to the Tour de France – I wasn’t per cent…

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