07/18/2021 at 7:39 PM CEST
Tadej pogacar arrived in hot Paris 62 years just after the victory of Federico Bahamontes, escorted by the eight teammates of his team, the Emirates, who did not lose a single cash on a Tour that experienced the best first week in recent years and the following 15 days hit precisely by the enormous dominance of the prodigious Slovenian rider.
Pogacar He was crowned on the podium of the Champs Elysees, with the image of the Arc de Triomphe in the background, identically the same as he did in 2020, dressed in yellow, in white as the best under 25 years old and with red polka dots as the winner in the classification of the mountain. Also, like last September, he won three stages: two mountain and one time trial.
The only difference is that in 2020 he only wore yellow on the last day and now he did it from the eighth stage, without having any opposition, much less the scourge of his compatriot, Primoz Roglic, who had the misfortune of falling in the third stage, then abandoning and leaving the Tour orphaned of the only cyclist signed up to the race who could put victory at risk to Pogacar.
“I have given my best on this Tour and If you ask me which of the two has cost more to win, I will say that this year has been more stressful for all that it entails to go so many days in yellow and the questions from journalists, almost always the same. But the bottom line is that if you want to win the Tour every day you have to go full throttle, “declared the champion.
Last year he only attended the media of the Tour a single day dressed in yellow, in the last time trial, after astonishing the world and knocking down Roglic in the last gasp of the race. This 2021 his dominance has been praised but also Pogacar has had to sort out uncomfortable questions with comparisons to Lance Armstrong, for all the bad that the American is for cycling, and even ironic when they questioned him about strange noises in his wheels.
“I have lived it because when you are the dominator there are always people who question you about your performance. It is something that is part of the race and, although fortunately not all comments always go in the same direction, you must learn to manage them. What I have clear is that this will not be his last Tour. He is a marvel, an out of the ordinary and an extraordinary champion who is left sane for a while, “he says. Alberto counter.
He has played three great rounds and in the three he has not moved from the podium with two wins in Paris and a third place in Madrid, in the Return of 2019. And he’s only 22 years old. “I do not know if it will mark an era but it does not stop taking accelerated steps. What I do know is that it is making history. It treasures an evident quality but it will not be easy to win the Tour as if nothing happened because any rival can appear that makes it difficult for them, “he says. Joxean Fernández Matxín, its director in the Emirates.
Because Pogacar Not only has he won the Tour, but he has dominated a good part of the cycling year with three victories in rounds by shorter stages (Tour of the Emirates, Tirreno-Adriatico and Tour of Slovenia) without forgetting the impressive sprint that gave him the victory in Liege-Bastogne-Liège. And Saturday will be the top seed at the Tokyo Games.
“We are going to enter the Pogacar era because from now on he will not only be the favorite on the Tour but in all races. And, furthermore, he is already the standard bearer for this new generation of aggressive riders, who are not content to go wheel and that have loaded the conformity of the last 15 years in the so-called pinganillo cycling. Thanks to Pogacar and his generation, and to the new young people that will emerge, we are going to have a lot of fun watching cycling in the coming years“, he assures Pedro Delgado.
A year from now, when the 2022 Tour starts in Copenhagen, Pogacar will be the big favorite. “But it should not be neglected either because I experienced the explosion of Fignon. He won two consecutive Tours with 22 and 23 years and then the injuries came to him, “he recalls slim. Never let your guard down.