Tadej Pogačar eyes Tour of Flanders revenge in 2023

The UAE Team Emirates rider hopes to add to his Monuments collection next season

Tadej Pogacar leads Mathieu van der Poel on a cobbled section at the 2022 Tour of Flanders
(Image credit: Getty)

Two-time Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar has set out plans to avenge his 2022 Tour of Flanders disappointment next season. 

On his race debut this April, the 24-year-old broke free with eventual winner Mathieu van der Poel, but was boxed in on the finishing straight and ended up finishing fourth in what looked set to be a two-up sprint. Pogačar appeared visibly frustrated as he came across the line, sitting up in his saddle and fiercely shaking his head.

Asked what his ambitions are for 2023, the Slovenian told Italian publication Gazzetta dello Sport: “There’s a desire to make up for my fourth place this year at the Tour of Flanders.”

In his post-race interview this spring, Pogačar said the result left him “really disappointed” and “frustrated with myself”.

"I was boxed in, but that’s cycling. Sometimes you’re boxed in and sometimes you have open road," he added. "All in all, it was a great experience. It was a really amazing race."

The UAE Team Emirates rider also revealed to Gazzetta dello Sport that he’d be targeting another Monument title next season, aiming to add to his victories at Il Lombardia and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.   

“San Remo is another one because I haven’t managed to win it yet,” he told the Italian outlet. “And then there’s the World Championships. It’s a race I’m really missing and in 2023 it will be a nice challenge, with the novelty that the rainbow jersey is up for grabs in the summer.”

Pogačar’s primary goal, however, will be returning to the top step of the Tour de France podium. 

“After second place this year, my objective is to recapture the Tour,” he said. 

The route for the 2023 edition of the race looks set to be one for the climbers, as it features four summit finishes, including a return to the iconic Puy de Dôme for the first time since 1988. There is just one time trial across the three-week event - a 22km Alpine dash from Passy to Combloux. 

Speaking at the route announcement ceremony in Paris last month, the 2022 runner-up said: “I really like the course, the first stages are really hard, and the third week is really, really hard, so it’s going to be fun, I think. I cannot wait for July. 

“I’m really motivated to win it again and we will try to do everything we can to win it.” 

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