‘Why should I be worried?’ - Tadej Pogačar still fearless ahead of Tour de France time trial

Just one more test separates Pogačar from his second Tour de France victory

Tadej Pogačar on stage 18 of the Tour de France 2021
(Image credit: PETE GODING/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

Tadej Pogačar’s confidence only continues to grow in the Tour de France 2021, as he asked ‘why should I be worried’ ahead of the upcoming time trial.

Pogačar claimed his second consecutive stage victory in the mountains on day 18, once again outsprinting Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) and Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) to take the day. 

There is just one test separating Pogačar from his second Tour de France title, as he must defend his five-minute advantage in a 30km time trial on stage 20.

When asked if he had any fear heading ahead of the time trial, Pogačar said: ‘Why should I be worried? 

“It’s a discipline I always want to do my best in and give 100 per cent. Sometimes you can have a really bad day in a TT. It will be a new experience and I can’t wait.” 

Pogačar was untouchable again on stage 18 on Luz Ardiden, marking out moves from his rival and eventually attacking himself to take his third stage win of this year’s race, after victory in the stage five TT and the summit finish on stage 17. 

After the mostly flat course on day 20, just one general classification test remains before Paris, a 30.8km, mostly flat, TT from Libourne to Saint-Émilion. 

With 5-45 to his nearest rival Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma), Pogačar looks to have the race sealed, but there are no guarantees in the Tour de France. 

In last year’s Tour, Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) lost a one-minute advantage and the yellow jersey to Pogačar on the stage 20 time trial, in one of the most remarkable Tour de France turnarounds in memory. 

>>> Why have there been so many solo stage winners at the Tour de France 2021?

When asked if the same could happen this year, Pogacar said: “Let’s hope not, but maybe. You can lose six minutes on a TT. It’s happened before, but I feel confident.”  

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.