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Tour de France 2021: Tadej Pogacar-A challenge?

Tour de France 2021: Tadej Pogacar-A challenge?

Tour de France 2021 news. What’s new on Tadej Pogacar?

Like his coup de force during the 8th stage towards Le Grand-Bornand, the performance of the yellow jersey raises questions. The sulfurous past of the bosses of the UAE-Team Emirates team too.

Tadej Pogacar is riding on this Tour de France 2021. The Slovenian has been wearing the yellow tunic since the 8th stage at Le Grand-Bornand. After which, he crushed all his competitors one by one. His performances impressed an environment still traumatized by the Lance Armstrong years.

7 victories in the Tour de France finally withdrawn for doping in 2012. After two weeks of racing, the current yellow jersey has indeed widened an unprecedented gap on its runner-up since Armstrong in 2000. Here are the reasons why Pogacar’s performances can challenge.

Because he crushes his rivals

On Saturday, July 3, the rain swept through the 8th stage between Oyonnax and Le Grand-Bornand. At that time, Tadej Pogacar decided to accelerate in the Col de Romme (8.8 km at 8.9%). It was more than 30 kilometers from the finish. Caught in falls at the start of the Tour, Geraint Thomas (Ineos-Grenadiers) and Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) are no longer even in this group.

Only Richard Carapaz (Ineos-Grenadiers) takes the wheel of the Slovenian before cracking a few tens of meters further on a new blow from “Pogi.” The col de la Colombière (7.5 km at 8.5%) follows, and Pogacar takes the breakaways one by one by climbing up the large plateau.

In 32 kilometers, he took 3’20 ” from all his rivals. His rivals are Jonas Vingegaard, Richard Carapaz, Rigoberto Uran, Enric Mas. His ease and dominance are appealing.

The next day, in Tignes, he took another 30 seconds, attacking a few kilometers from the finish. By adding his surprise victory in front of the pure specialist Stefan Küng in the time trial of the fifth stage, the defending champion has already stunned the Tour.


Rigoberto Uran (EF Education-Nippo)

After 15 stages, he has a 5’18 ” margin over second Rigoberto Uran (EF Education-Nippo), a gap unprecedented at the same stage since the 2000 edition, when Lance Armstrong counted 7’26 ” runner-up Jan Ullrich. “He’s not extra-galactic because nobody competes with him,” yellow jersey head coach Iñigo San Millán tempers on Velonews.comHe doesn’t even realize the numbers he made last year. His other opponents  (on this 2021 Tour) are only a shadow of themselves. “

Above all, “Pogi” never seems to know a day without or failures, apart from the 40 seconds conceded at the top of Mont Ventoux to Jonas Vingegaard, finally resumed in the descent to Malaucène. Before the Tour, the 22-year-old has never finished beyond 7th place in a race in 2021. No matter what he contested on a day or in the overall classification.

Because it develops impressive power over a long period

We can use two tools to analyze Tadej Pogacar’s performance. Comparing his ascent times with previous years and the power calculation. The site calculates the power of runners in “standard” watts.

That is to say, the energy compared to a typical runner of 78 kg with the weight of his bike to reach the measurements.

On the 8th stage, the Slovenian developed 442 standard watts over a 49-minute climb between the Col de Romme and Col de la Colombière, without showing signs of fatigue after the stage. No recent performance comes close. Only a few runners managed to develop more power on the ascent and over a similar period.

Ivan Basso 2006 was suspended for two years in 2007. Miguel Indurain, in 1995 was tested positive for Salbutamol in 1994 then cleared. And Marco Pantani 1998 was excluded from the Giro in 1999 for a too high hematocrit level, the percentage of red blood cells in the blood.

On the 8th stage, Tadej Pogacar climbed the Col de la Colombière in 21’55 ”, two seconds behind Dan Martin’s record, achieved in 2018. With the difference that the Irishman had ridden most of the rise with the favorites.

And the Slovenian was on his own. “I would love to publish my numbers so that everyone can see them, but the other teams could use them against me, so it’s a little more complicated than that, he defended in the first rest day in Tignes. All I can tell you is that I make many watts, and that’s why I am a yellow jersey. “

Because those around him are sulfurous in Tour de France 2021

Pogacar’s UAE-Team Emirates is led by a collection of managers and coaches who have been pinned down in past doping cases. The CEO of the Emirati formation Mauro Gianetti was at the head of the Saunier-Duval team, infamous since the Tour de France 2008. And the general manager Matxin Joxean Fernandez was there too.

During this edition, the Spanish team sees Ricardo Ricco and Leonardo Piepoli win three mountain stages. But the first tested positive for CERA, a third-generation EPO. His formation immediately left the Grande Boucle. After the Tour, the samples taken from Piepoli are also positive for the same doping product.

In 1998, their future sports director Mauro Gianetti was uneasy on the Tour de Romandie when he was a runner. Because, according to the criminal denunciation of two doctors, the consumption of PFC, an oxygen carrier, was banned since 2004. The Swiss had spent three days in a coma as a result of this discomfort.



Slovenian cycling is also marred by doping cases and, in particular, that called Aderlass. This investigation, carried out in Austria and Germany, resulted in the suspensions of Slovenes Kristjan Koren and Borut Bozic. The UCI accused them of self-transfusion in 2012 and 2013. According to a World count in 2019, 8 out of the 19 Slovenian riders have played at the World Tour level for 10years. 

They received a suspension for doping, or 42% of the contested.

Tadej Pogacar has never tested positive, or nobody took his name in any doping case. “Pogi” even claimed to have been checked three times during the 9th stage between Cluses and Tignes. “I don’t know what to do to prove my innocence,” he admitted at a press conference. “I told Andrej (Hauptman): ‘Tadej (Pogacar) will stop cycling next year because at that age, doping begins,” confided his mother Marjeta in a broadcast report. in the program Stade 2.

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