The launch of a mouth-watering new rivalry
Over the last few years, no young riders have generated as much excitement as Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) and Remco Evenepoel (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl).
Pogacar has of course already won two Tours de France, and with panache to boot, and despite still being eligible for best young rider competitions is already being talked about as having the potential to become one of the all-time greatest.
Evenepoel might not have made the same leap to established greatness, yet he is nevertheless a headline-making machine who attracts hype, and sometimes controversy, in every race he competes in. We’ve seen him do astonishing things in small races, and it feels like only a matter of time he starts to do so in the top events.
Remarkably, these two fledgling superstars have never faced off at a stage race of any kind in the past — until now. This year’s Tirreno-Adriatico will be the first time they go head-to-head in a GC battle, and the prospect is mouth-watering.
Pogačar will be comfortably the favourite, especially considering that he is defending champion, and is in fine form having triumphed with aplomb to defend his UAE Tour title. But Evenepoel is one of the few riders in the world who genuinely looks capable of unsettling him. The Belgian looked on song at both the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana and Volta ao Algarve, finishing second in the former and winning the latter, and defeated some top riders to do so, including Pogačar’s teammate […]