‘It wasn’t all smooth sailing’ – Tadej Pogačar caps Giro d’Italia with another procession on Monte Grappa

ALPAGO ITALY MAY 25 LR Mikkel Bjerg of Denmark Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia Pink Leader Jersey and Rafal Majka of Poland and UAE Team Emirates prior to the 107th Giro dItalia 2024 Stage 20 a 184km stage from Alpago to Bassano del Grappa UCIWT on May 25 2024 in Alpago Italy Photo by Dario BelingheriGetty Images
Mikkel Bjerg and Rafal Majka demonstrate the show of force with UAE Team Emirates and race leader Tadej Pogačar ahead of the stage 20 victory by the maglia rosa (Image credit: Dario Belingheri/Getty Images)

In modern cycling, so the thinking goes, a rider can no longer use races for training. On this Giro d’Italia, Tadej Pogačar has regularly appeared to defy that consensus. At times, like on Monte Grappa on Saturday afternoon, his race has felt very much like an extended training camp for the Tour de France.

The UAE Team Emirates rider had indicated beforehand that he was targeting victory on stage 20 in Bassano del Grappa, and so it proved. On this Giro, Pogačar has been able to win more or less how he pleases, and his decision to attack with a shade under 6km of Monte Grappa still remaining suggested that he had a very specific effort in mind for the last public workout of his Italian sojourn.

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Barry Ryan
Head of Features

Barry Ryan is Head of Features at Cyclingnews. He has covered professional cycling since 2010, reporting from the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and events from Argentina to Japan. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Procycling and Cycling Plus. He is the author of The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation, published by Gill Books.