Tadej Pogačar logs mammoth Liège recon after being forced out of Flèche Wallonne

The reigning Tour de France champion seemed frustrated that he wasn't allowed to ride Flèche Wallonne after finding that the team received 'false positives' tests

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tadej Pogačar posted a six-hour recon of the Liège-Bastogne-Liège route on Strava yesterday after he and the rest of his UAE Team Emirates squad were not allowed to ride La Flèche Wallonne due to 'false positive' Covid-19 tests.

Pogačar would have been hoping to be up there with his main rival Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) and eventual winner Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) battling it out for the race win at Flèche Wallonne, but instead, he made use of the time to have a look at the roads of the third Monument of the season.

>>> ‘This one really feels good’: Julian Alaphilippe relieved after taking ‘important’ victory at La Flèche Wallonne 2021

UAE Team Emirates decided to make the most of the time and took a look at the roads that will be used for this year's Liège-Bastogne-Liège in an epic 209.3km ride that covered almost the entire route of Sunday's race.

Image by Strava

Pogačar was clearly going for it as well as he set various personal bests including on the Côte de Stockeu, which features 179km into the 259.5km race. The Slovenian wasn't quite able to take a PR on the race's final climb, the Roche aux Faucons, but still rode just 16 seconds slower than the KOM time he set in last year's race. Pogačar rode the average 11 per cent climb of just over a kilometre at around 20kmh. For the entire ride he averaged 34.3kph for the 6-06-22 duration.

UAE Team Emirates also had last year's second place at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Marc Hirschi on the recon as well as former world champion Rui Costa, Davide Formolo, Jan Polanc and Vegard Stake Laengen.

The ride started just outside the town of Hotton halfway along the route towards Bastogne out of Liège before following the race route and stopping at the three green zones that will be along the route. Pogačar posted the team's stops and a couple of shots from his ride on his Instagram story where they looked to be taking it easy.

The 2020 Tour de France champion tweeted his frustration about not racing Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday: "We all have negative and we don’t start Flèche Wallone.

We had false-positive yesterday but came three times negative afterwards."

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Pogačar will have good memories of Liège-Bastogne-Liège after his third place in last year's race just after the Tour de France in the rejigged season. He finished behind Hirschi and fellow countryman Roglič after Alaphilippe was disqualified due to a dangerous sprint.

Liège-Bastogne-Liège takes place this Sunday (April 25) and covers 259.1km taking in 11 categorised climbs along the way. The favourites are expected to be the likes of Pogačar, Roglič, Alaphilippe, Hirschi as well as young British hope Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers).

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Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

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