Tadej Pogačar is one of the biggest names in pro cycling right now, if not the biggest. He can seemingly win on any terrain at any time, already racking up a palmares that is difficult to summarise in an introduction such as this. How does this sound: Two Tour de France general classification victories, one of which made him the youngest winner since 1904, and a second place in 2022. He also picked up two climbers’ jerseys in the process, and has also won three monuments (two at Lombardy, one at Liege-Bastogne-Liege), plus wins on the more spicy terrain of Strada Bianche.
He’s the only rider in history to break the 6,000-point barrier for UCI ranking points too, and even dabbles in cyclocross on occasion (naturally he also wins here, too), and is part of what is regularly being called ‘the new generation’ of riders, along with Wout van Aert, Matthieu Van der Poel, Remco Evenepoel, Tom Pidcock, et al.
Given this impressive rap sheet, it’s no wonder his Wikipedia page contains a section entitled “Comparisons with Eddy Merckx”. It’s also no wonder that people are curious about Tadej Pogačar’s bike, so let’s look at what this 66kg rocketship is riding, and how he sets his machine up.
Fortunately for you, while attending the launch of the new Colnago V4Rs, we snuck behind the scenes at the UAE Team Emirates makeshift service course at the team’s winter training camp and got an in-depth look at Pogačar’s race bike for the 2023 season. There’s a raft of new equipment compared to his 2022 bike, so get your notepads out and pay attention at the back.
What is Tadej Pogačar’s bike for 2023?
Pogačar and the rest of UAE Team Emirates ride the Colnago V4Rs. It’s the Italian brand’s only dedicated high-level race bike. This year, there has been a number of component swaps. The groupset is now Shimano Dura-Ace, the wheels from Enve, and the tyres from Continental.
At its launch, Pogačar had nothing but positive things to say about his new bike: “For sure the Colnago V4Rs is more stiff and more responsive. When you stand up you feel a better response, better reacting [sic]. For sure this helps in the peloton in the fast races and when attacking and sprinting. This was for me the biggest change from the V3Rs.”
However, it unwittingly entered the limelight when retired Classics rider Tom Boonen controversially claimed that Colnago wasn’t on the same level as the bike brands ridden by Pogacar’s rivals. Naturally, Colnago disagreed, calling Boonen’s claims…
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