Tadej Pogačar vows to disrupt UCI World Championship road race: ‘We have to do something’

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Tadej Pogačar and his five Slovenian cronies will plot to ambush the dominant nations in Sunday’s UCI Road World Championships road race.

“We have to do something, because these teams will try to play safer and calmer, and we don’t have a full squad,” Pogačar said.

The 23-year-old takes sole command of Team Slovenia for Sunday’s road race after Primož Roglič and Matej Mohorič both stayed at home.

The two-time Tour de France champion won’t let a diminished squad temper his ambition for his priority raid on the rainbow jersey.

“We will see how the riders who come feel and we will decide together how we are going to play it,” Pogačar told reporters on Sunday. “We have good runners. There are only six, but with six riders you can do a lot.

Read also : Pogačar signals he is a rainbow jersey contender after beating Van Aert

Pogačar finished sixth in Sunday’s World TT in what was just a taste of the Australian tarmac ahead of his season-ending target at next weekend’s road race.

A world title on the road has long been on the Slovenian’s horizon, but he still hasn’t scored on the world stage. Unfortunately for him, Wollongong’s long attritional road looks set for a reduced sprint in a profile that puts Wout van Aert atop the bookies slip.

Pogačar is more ambitious than ever and will do everything he can to pull off an unlikely rainbow jersey next weekend.

He laughed off the idea of ​​a Strade Bianche-style long-range attack, but will be on a mission to cause as much chaos as possible in the Wollongong marathon race.

A sprint victory at the Montreal GP showed the Slovenian he has the speed, but he needs the race to be more difficult than difficult in advance.

Pogačar said on Sunday he doubted the Mount Pleasant climb that punctuates the Wollongong route would make a difference as climbers of his ability look to confuse fast runners-up in Sunday’s road race.

“Maybe it’s hard enough,” he said.

“If you consider Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel, those guys you don’t let down. So journey it’s almost impossible, but you can tire them out. But you’re also tired after 267K, it’s not a lunch walk, it’s a tough day for everyone.

“The race will not be decided there but you can tire some legs,” he added.

Read also : Van Aert leaves Canada with rainbow jersey confidence intact

Pogačar will have to play host on Sunday. Big favorites Van Aert, Van der Poel and Michael Matthews have full teams of eight riders to help control the race for a little strongman sprint and won’t hesitate to step up.

“Did Pogačar say that the Belgians had to carry the race? Then all we can do is do it,” Belgian co-captain Remco Evenepoel said. “We have a very solid team. But if the responsibility lies with us, we will certainly assume it.

World road racing used to be a slow, sleepy affair.

Expect Pogačar to bring the 2022 race to an early and rude awakening.

About Ethel Partin

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