The 2020 Tour de France champion, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), has revealed his first thoughts on next year's Tour route – which was unveiled in Paris on Sunday evening – and the 22-year-old admitted that he would have preferred more than the three summit finishes on offer when it comes to defending his title.
"It's an interesting route. It's more of a classic Tour de France route than the last few years," he said in a team press release on Monday.
"The first week in Brittany should be exciting, with the chance of crosswinds and bad weather, and then the time trial [on stage 5], which hopefully should suit me well," said Pogačar.
"Then it heads to the Alps where there'll be some very tough stages – and Mont Ventoux twice in one day will be a legendary stage," he said, referring to stage 11, on which the riders will climb 'The Giant of Provence' twice for the first time in the race's history before descending to finish in Malaucène.
"A couple of days have more than 4,500 metres of climbing, so there will be some very hard days," Pogačar admitted. "The stages in the Pyrenees suit me well, too, and I also know those roads from the Vuelta a España last year."
After proving himself capable of staying with, and beating, the world's best climbers, Pogačar sealed the overall win by taking the yellow jersey on the penultimate stage of this year's race: on the time trial that finished at the top of the climb of La Planche des Belles Filles. It was his first attempt at the Tour, and victory also made him the second-youngest rider to ever win La Grande Boucle.
"There are just three mountain-top finishes," he said of next year's route. "Ideally I would have liked a few more, but, regardless, I expect exciting racing as always at the Tour."
The Slovenian finished his season with third place at Liège-Bastogne-Liège in early October, while his compatriot Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) – who finished second to Pogačar in Paris and then took the win in Liège – is currently locked in battle with Ineos Grenadiers' Richard Carapaz for the overall Vuelta a España title, with just five days to go until the finish in Madrid.
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