The Slovenia Times

Tadej Pogačar dominates Tour of Catalonia

Slovenian ace Tadej Pogačar at the start of the final stage of the Tour of Catalonia. Photo: dpa/STA

Slovenia's Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), the word's top-ranked rider, sealed a dominant overall victory in his race debut at the Tour of Catalonia with four stage wins over seven days, including in the final sprint in Barcelona on 24 March.

Pogačar could have taken it easy after opening a comfortable gap to his closest competitors with a 30-kilometre solo in the penultimate stage, but he decided to take no chances and remained in control throughout the race.

In the final approach to the finish line he jockeyed in front in the reduced 23-rider peloton, crossing the finish line almost a bike length ahead of his rivals.

"I'm so happy to take the win. It wasn't the original plan. Today we tried to go with Marc Soler," Pogačar said about his teammate after the final stage.

"He went on the first lap on the climb. He did a super good job. I was trying to follow wheels and stay in front."

"João Almeida set a good pace on the climb and we were a small group in the front. He made a good attack on the last small climb and almost came to the finish. I wish he could arrive but I'm happy to take this win, too."

In the general classification Pogačar maintained his 3:41 minute lead ahead of Spain's Mikel Landa (Soudal-Quick Step). The Columbian Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) finished third, more than five minutes behind.

Bagging four stage victories, Pogačar increased his career tally of victories to 69, still 11 behind Slovenia's other top cyclist Primož Roglič (Bora-hansgrohe).

This is the 14th multi-day race won for Pogačar and the first since Paris-Nice last year.

Next up on Pogačar's calendar is Liege-Bastogne-Liege in late April, which he won in 2021 and where he fractured his wrist last year.

His season highlight will be the Giro d'Italia, which starts on 4 May.


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