tadej pogacar giro

Tadej Pogačar avoids crash in Giro d’Italia and maintains front position

CyclingMay 15, 19:20
Although he leads the overall race, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) frequently finds himself in the thick of the action on the Giro d’Italia's bunch sprint days, both avoiding hazards and assisting his team's sprinter, Sebastián Molano.
In Stage 11's rapid approach to Francavilla al Mare, Pogačar was again prominent at the front of the pack, more so than his GC competitors.
However, this time it nearly backfired as a crash involving Fabio Jakobsen, Tobias Lund Andresen (both DSM-Firmenich PostNL) and Jenthe Biermans (Arkéa-B&B Hotels) required the maglia rosa to dodge out of the way in the closing meters.
Despite no consequences from the incident, the crash raised doubts about Pogačar’s aggressive tactics, yet the Slovenian maintained that his strategy was focused on ensuring safety.
"Maybe it looks like it," he said following stage 11, when questioned if he lingered at the front of the sprint too long.
"Today there was a crash just in front of me, but more or less I always stay like this, in a bubble, a few metres around me, I always check what’s going on, I always stay not directly on the wheels, not touching anybody.
“You never know, it can happen in the back, in the front. It’s a bit tricky,” he added. “I always have this philosophy, you need to stay safe in this small air bubble that you create and try to not make mistakes.”
Lately, it's typical for general classification (GC) teams to organize at the front during the final moments of sprint stages, ensuring their leaders are safe until the crucial 3-kilometer mark. After this point, riders are safeguarded from losing time in case of crashes or mechanical issues.
Yet, Pogačar is pushing the boundaries by engaging more directly in the lead-out. He notably closed the gap to Jhonatan Narváez on stage 9, and similarly, though to a lesser degree, on stage 11.
"Today I knew with the headwind it's a bit more difficult for me to help Seba [Molano] and Rui [Oliveira], but I tried just to cover them a little bit," he mentioned. "They cover me, I cover them, until the final 2-3 km but then I didn’t have the legs to go in the headwind in front so it’s up to the big guys in the final kilometre on a finish like this."
On a day marked by teammate Felix Großschartner’s crash and a sprint finish that didn't play to his strengths, there continue to be debates about Pogačar's constant presence in the thick of the action. However, the maglia rosa once again makes it through another stage of this Giro without mishap.
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