After fracturing his wrist in a crash at Liège-Bastogne-Liège Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) is soon set to start riding on the road again, with altitude training immediately on the agenda as the Slovenian works to get his delayed preparation toward the Tour de France back on track.
“We hope in the next two, three days he can start on the road with the bike, he was a long time on the rollers and working, running, climbing to exercise and all the therapy for the hand,” Mauro Gianetti, UAE Team Emirates CEO, told Cyclingnews.
“Now it’s time we can really start on the road.”
Before the Liège crash sidelined Pogačar and brought to an end his impressive run of victories – Tour of Flanders, Amstel Gold Race and La Flèche Wallonne – the 2020 and 2021 Tour de France winner had always planned to take a racing break before heading to Sierra Nevada mid-May to prepare for another pursuit of the yellow jersey.
However, now the key question is how the complete and unexpected halt to riding on the road impacts Pogačar’s form, and whether it’s likely to create problems at the July Grand Tour.
“It is at least two or three weeks after his normal plan to restart training… we will see,” said Gianetti. “We know he is Tadej Pogačar but also it will depend how much it was possible to keep condition and not go too much down.”
Reducing the delays to preparation as much as possible, Pogačar will begin his training on the road at altitude and that, Gianetti said, will deliver an indication of just how much impact the April 23 crash has had on his fitness
“It is difficult to say this before we can see what he can do on the road,” said Gianetti. “We would need to see one week on the road and then make a point of the situation to see how much he lost.”
The regular pre-Tour test of the Critérium du Dauphiné is coming up from June 4-11, the Tour de Suisse from June 11-18 and the Tour of Slovenia from June 14-18, where Pogačar is defending champion, but Gianetti said any decisions on whether he could use any of these events as part of his build-up would have to wait.
“It’s very early to say this because he just starts now to go on the road and it might be complicated to be in competition in Dauphine or Tour de Suisse.”
However, just a little more than five weeks out from the Tour de France, where Pogačar last year came second to Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma), there is no question the determination remains to do everything possible to try and recapture yellow this…
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