Giro d'Italia boss challenges Tadej Pogačar: 'It’s time for a rider to win the Giro-Tour double'

Mauro Vegni has also questioned what winning the Tour de France for a third time adds to a rider's career

Tadej Pogacar Giro-Tour double
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Giro d'Italia president Mauro Vegni has challenged Tadej Pogačar to attempt to win both the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France in 2022, claiming that his third yellow jersey won't add any extra significance to his career. 

Pogačar has previously stated that he will attempt to win the Giro one day, but is expected to prioritise defending the Tour de France this coming year, with the Vuelta a España a potential second Grand Tour option.

The 62-year-old chairman also argues that most riders don't have the longevity to continue winning significant races, and should therefore tackle the Giro-Tour double while they are at peak performance. 

Vegni told La Gazzetta dello Sport: “I don’t think winning the Tour de France three or four times makes much of a difference to a rider’s career. When you win it once, you’ve proved you’re a great rider and there’s little else to prove.

“These days the riders are much more ready to win great races at a young age than for a long time, even when they’re just 23. It’s a pity that nobody seems to have the desire to try to win the Giro-Tour double. If I’m not wrong, the last was Pantani. So perhaps it’s time for a rider to add their name to that roll of honour.” 

Indeed, Marco Pantani was the last rider to win both the Giro and the Tour in the same year, back in 1998. Chris Froome notably attempted the challenge in 2018, but came up short in the Tour de France after winning the Giro. The Briton finished third in France, unable to recover quickly enough during the month between the two races. 

The 105th edition of the Giro d'Italia was announced last week, taking place across May 2022. The three-week race starts in Budapest, Hungary, before finishing in Verona with a 17.1km time trial - one of only two ITTs out of the 21 stages.

The route also includes 51,000 metres of climbing, with Vegni claiming this is one of the most difficult Giros in a number of years. 

He said: “It’s clear that this is the one of the hardest routes of the Giro d’Italia of the last few years and one with the most metres of climbing while I’ve been involved in the organising of the race. 

“However it’s also true that the layout of the stages also allows the riders to have their say on every stage, there’s something for everyone. I think there’ll be spectacular racing every day with numerous changes in the race leadership.”