Tadej Pogačar eyes Monument collection after superb Tour of Flanders win

The Slovenian joked that he could walk away from cycling a happy man after winning De Ronde

Tadej Pogačar
(Image credit: getty)

Tadej Pogačar has set his sight on completing an historic clean sweep of cycling’s five Monuments, after winning his third on Sunday at the Tour of Flanders.

The Slovenian superstar continued his extraordinary form, attacking on the Kwaremont with 17km to go and holding onto to win in Oudenaarde ahead of Mathieu van der Poel.

Victory means that the 24 year old has now won three of cycling’s most prestigious one-day races, having previously triumphed at Liège-Bastogne-Liège and twice at Il Lombardia.

The UAE-Team Emirates rider now needs to win both Paris-Roubaix and Milan-Sanremo to become just the fourth man after Rik Van Looy, Eddy Merckx and Roger De Vlaeminck to win all five races.

Speaking after his outstanding win in Flanders, Pogačar referenced the record: “We will not give up. We leave it in reserve. I think I have to gain some kilos for Roubaix and gain strength in my hands. We saw in Sanremo it is the most difficult, [but] this year I have been in one of my best forms of my life,” the two-time Tour de France champion said.

Despite being caught behind a crash early on in the race that meant his team had to work hard to regain touch with the peloton, Pogačar was imperious during De Ronde and joked that he could leave cycling a happy man following victory. “I could retire after today and I would be very proud of my career. I can be happy and proud. It was an incredible job by the team today. A day I will never forget," he said.

Discussing his race-winning move, he reflected: “We were coming with speed onto the cobbles, really suffering, so the entry into the climb [of the Kwaremont] is all about giving it all the power to the top. It’s very long to the top so it’s my favourite [berg].

“I knew I just had to go on the Kwaremont. I gave everything, and then I almost did crack on the Paterberg. I knew it was going to be hard, but it was the only option for me.”

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Chris Marshall-Bell

Chris first started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2013 on work experience and has since become a regular name in the magazine and on the website. Reporting from races, long interviews with riders from the peloton and riding features drive his love of writing about all things two wheels.

Probably a bit too obsessed with mountains, he was previously found playing and guiding in the Canadian Rockies, and now mostly lives in the Val d’Aran in the Spanish Pyrenees where he’s a ski instructor in the winter and cycling guide in the summer. He almost certainly holds the record for the most number of interviews conducted from snowy mountains.