Pogačar produces yet another masterpiece
Even by the ludicrously high standards Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) has set over the past few years, this was a particularly special ride.
Prior to today, no rider had won Strade Bianche with an attack longer than 20km; but Pogačar, dismissive of any established racing custom, set off on a remarkable 50km solo ride to take victory.
It didn’t look as though attacking this far out was part of the plan. Although he moved to the front of the peloton on the eighth gravel sector, he appeared to be vying for control of and the best spot in the peloton with Julian Alaphilippe (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl), and opened up a small gap ahead of Alaphilippe and the rest apparently by accident.
Upon getting this gap, he kept looking over his shoulder, perhaps puzzled as to why no other rider was bridging up to him. The truth was that no-one could follow even before he committed fully to the attack, and once he did, there was no catching him.
Thirty seconds grew to a minute, and a minute grew to a minute and a half, and we could only look in awe as Pogačar completed yet another masterclass.
As a result, he adds Strade Bianche to the Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Il Lombardia titles he claimed last year, all before turning 24 — depending on your stance towards the status of Strade Bianche, you could say he’s well on the way to becoming the first ever rider to win all six monuments. These […]