Becoming the youngest winner of the Tour since 1904 last September, then-21-year-old Pogačar defeated Primoz Roglič last year on a spectacular final day at the Beautiful Girls’ Time Trial. He will return to France as the leader of his UAE Emirates team this summer, after a spring campaign that saw him win the UAE Tour, Tirreno-Adriatico and a first monument title in Liège-Bastogne-Liège.“Right now I’m riding like this and everything is fine, I am healthy and everything is fine. Obviously I hope it will continue like this. But you never know what can happen, ”Pogacar told Procycling.
“Defending a title is the hardest thing to do, but if you win a race before you can win it again. Then he adds with a half-smile. ” Probably. “
Perhaps Pogacar’s biggest rival is once again Roglič, his compatriot and friend on foot. Slovenia is a nation with a short cycling history, but fate dictated that two champion riders would come out of the country at once. Kate Wagner examines the relationship between Pogačar and Roglič. Can they be friends? It is complicated…
The two Slovenes may be the two strongest contenders for the Tour, but the stronger side will likely be Ineos-Grenadiers, who have dominated stage races so far in 2021 with five overall wins. With three grand tour winners in Geraint Thomas, Richard Carapaz and Tao Geoghegan Hart potentially in the lead, and a supporting cast that could include Richie Porte, Rohan Dennis, Michał Kwiatkowski and Luke Rowe, Sophie Hurcom asks how the British team could s ‘tackle this year’s game. race, and reclaim their position as the number one team on the Tour.
The sprint field on the Tour has always been very competitive, but there has been little choice between the top riders in recent years. Marcel Kittel was the most dominant sprinter on the Tour between 2013 and 2017, and while he may have retired from racing, a recent study of his physiological numbers shows exactly what it takes to win a Tour sprint. . Sam Blanchard learns more.
The Groupama-FDJ riders David Gaudu and Valentin Madouas are both from Brittany, where the big start of the 2021 Tour will take place. The French, who both hope to be on the starting line of the race, explain to Edward Pickering why the region is such a hotbed of cycling.
“We Britons, whether in cycling or in life, are very chauvinistic. Very proud, we have a lot of solidarity with each other and you see a lot of Breton flags. We have a different identity from other regions, ”Madouas said.
The flagship stage of this year’s Tour is stage 11, with two climbs of the legendary Mont Ventoux. The Giant of Provence will be climbed twice for the first time in the history of the Tour, as Jeremy Whittles asks what, in the mountains, fuels the drama and inspires obsessive behavior?
The Ventoux stage is one of six mountain stages on the Tour’s route this year, which means that the foundations for the race’s victory will once again be laid in the Pyrenees and the Alps. But as James Witts finds out, the drag, power-to-weight ratio and wheel selection of a rider and his team could also have a big impact.
While La Course is due to take place on Saturday June 26 for its seventh edition, next year will also see the rebirth of a women’s Tour de France. ASO organizers have confirmed they will launch a new women’s stage race in 2022, and among the enthusiastic teams is FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope, the number one women’s team in France. One of the oldest teams in the women’s peloton, Sophie Hurcom paints the portrait of a traditional team, turned towards the future.
The May issue also features all of our regulars, including columnists Kevin Reza, Brodie Chapman and Charlie Quarterman, as well as Dan Martin and our columnist Laurens ten Dam.
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