Tadej Pogačar fully focused on third yellow jersey: 'We're already thinking about the Tour de France'

The Slovenian has started preparations for the French Grand Tour already

Tadej Pogacar Tour de France
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tadej Pogačar is already preparing for the Tour de France in July, as he aims to win the prestigious race for the third-consecutive year at just 23-years-old. 

Speaking to RTV Slovenia, Pogačar revealed his plans for the coming weeks as he slowly builds up his workload to prepare optimally for the Tour. He also discussed the added pressure winning the Tour the past two years has created for him, suggesting he will use it to fuel him rather than let it hinder his ambition.

"I am slowly stepping up the training process of preparations for the Tour de France," he said.

"The pressure for this year's Tour is already there, but it gives me extra motivation. I know the people around me believe in me. I'm going to the Tour with an approach so I can repeat again and win the yellow jersey for the third time." 

In order to prepare, the UAE Team Emirates rider will complete recon rides of some key stages of the Tour next weekend in the Pyrenees. Stage 17 and 18, to Peyragudes and Hautacam, respectively, could both prove crucial in Pogačar's bid for another Tour de France crown. 

Clearly attempting to leave no stone unturned, he will also check out three of the Alps stages, including the decisive Alpe d'Huez climb on the twelfth day. 

"We're already thinking about the Tour de France," he said. "Next weekend I'm going to the Pyrenees to see the stages of this year's race, then the time trial and then three stages in the Alps. I'll be busy before the altitude training, we're already on the Tour."

Following his recon of the aforementioned Tour stages, Pogačar will then head to Livigno in Italy for three weeks to complete altitude training. The 23-year-old will then compete in the Tour of Slovenia in mid-June to become further accustomed to the race pace he will need ahead of the Tour starting on July 1. 

According to the Slovenian, the biggest threat he will face in defending the yellow jersey will be from fellow countryman Primož Roglič. Pogačar claims the two riders provide extra motivation for one another due to the level they both perform at. 

"We drive each other to the finish line, everyone wants to win for their team. It will be the same on the Tour, I am already looking forward to this duel - of course there are others - but it is also in my mind that Primož is the most dangerous for me, which makes me happy, because we speak the same language.

"It is much better to race against him than against anyone else."

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