After two years of starting his season at – and winning – the UAE Tour, Tadej Pogačar ‘s switch back to Spain to kick off his 2023 campaign is already going better than expected.
Few would have bet against the Slovenian winning both the Clásica Jaén Paraíso Interior and the mountainous opener at the Vuelta a Andalucía , but the 24-year-old has completely dominated the first two days of his racing season.
After going solo with 36km to go on Monday, he repeated the trick at Wednesday’s Andalucía opener, leaving his rivals behind on the final climb with 12km remaining. With a 38-second cushion to the chasing group in Santiago de la Espana, he has now taken two wins by a combined margin of 87 seconds.
Speaking after the stage, even Pogačar said he didn’t expect to start the year so strongly.
"I’m a little surprised by my form," he said. "I knew that I was good, but I could not expect to have already won two races."
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In the overall standings, Pogačar already leads a group containing Carlos Rodríguez (Ineos Grenadiers) and Bahrain Victorious pair Mikel Landa and Santiago Buitrago by 38 seconds.Rodríguez’s teammate Tao Geoghegan Hart lies next […]
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