Tadej Pogačar, the Slovenian cycling sensation, has recently shed light on his ambitious plans for the 2024 season, indicating a focus on the Tour de France, Olympics, and the Road World Championships in Zürich. Speaking at an event hosted by his agents A&J Sport, Pogačar, who has twice claimed victory at the Tour, hinted at a possible deferment of his participation in the Giro d’Italia, a race he has long expressed a desire to compete in.
The 2024 Giro d’Italia’s route, seemingly tailored to Pogačar’s strengths with reduced climbing, had sparked speculations of him aiming for a Giro-Tour double. However, the challenge of peaking for both the Giro in May and the Tour in July, followed by the World Championships in late September, might be a tall order even for a rider of Pogačar’s calibre.
Pogačar acknowledged the difficulty of balancing these major races, stating, “The Giro deserves respect and that’s why I have to understand if I can be at my best to ride it.” He emphasised the significance of the Tour de France in his racing calendar, adding that it demands exclusive focus for a shot at victory.
While the final decision on his 2024 race schedule will be made at the UAE Team Emirates December training camp, Pogačar underscored the priority given to the Tour by his team and sponsors. “The principal goals are the Tour, the Olympics, and the Worlds,” he confirmed, noting that the chronological order of these events doesn’t necessarily reflect their importance.
Reflecting on his preference for variety in racing, Pogačar, who has shown his prowess in both Grand Tours and Classics, remarked, “I like riding my bike and I like racing. I don’t like to focus just on one race or one kind of race.” He also praised his rival, Jonas Vingegaard, as perhaps the best climber and adept at preparing for the gruelling month of July.
The Slovenian’s talent has seen him triumph in races like Paris-Nice, the Tour of Flanders, Amstel Gold Race, and La Flèche Wallonne, although a wrist fracture at Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2023 disrupted his Tour de France preparations. Pogačar’s versatile approach to racing, alongside the demands of a packed schedule, will undoubtedly shape his strategy and participation in the coming season.