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Tadej Pogačar said he had COVID-19 just 10 days ago

Tadej Pogačar on Tour de France Stage 5: ‘All is not lost’

In a press conference Thurdday, Tadej Pogačar said had been “a little question mark” but he has now “fully recovered” after contracting COVID-19 10 days ago.

“I fell ill 10 days ago. I had Covid and there was a little question mark but I am fully recovered,” the Slovenian told a press conference in Florence. The Team UAE – Emirates rider won the race in 2020 and 2021 and is the huge favourite for 2024.

The race begins Saturday in Florence and will spend three days in Italy.

“It wasn’t so bad. It was just a cold that passed quite quickly,” the Team UAE Emirates rider said to media. “Covid is no longer as virulent, especially if you’ve had the virus before. I’ve already had it once, maybe twice even, I don’t remember.”

Pogi ill during a training camp at Isola 2000 in the southern French Alps, he said.

The Slovenian will resume his rivalry with Dane Jonas Vingegaard, who was only announced to race on June 20. The defending champion has been recovering from a nasty crash in Spain in April.

Vingegaard’s Visma Lease a Bike will revert to partial COVID-19 protocols for the Tour. Last week, the Dutch WorldTeam had to withdraw Sepp Kuss due to his ongoing recovery from COVID-19. A survey of the peloton reveals several teams have encountered positive cases recently, affecting riders like David Gaudu and Mads Pedersen, who both recovered in time for the Tour. Unfortunately, Tao Geoghegan Hart did not recover in time.

He could become the first rider since Marco Pantani in 1998 to complete the Giro-Tour double. Many, including Belgian rider Remco Evenepoel, have designated him as the big favourite, deeming him “unbeatable” if he remains “safe and sound.”

“The Giro-Tour double is difficult to achieve. It’s a big challenge but I’m ready to take it on,” he said.

The Tour de France begins on Saturday. Canadian Cycling Magazine will have daily reports and features at the world’s biggest bike race.

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