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Pogačar, a four-thorned Rose


Thanks everyone for participating! That’s what Tadej Pogačar must think every time he sets off like a thunderbolt, leaves the chasing pack behind, and goes off to a solo win, completely undisturbed. The guy does whatever he wants and his opponents now seem to have accepted the fact rather peacefully. The Giro d’Italia has effectively ended as a contest on stage 15, this year’s Queen Stage, as the Slovenian stormed to yet another epic victory.

When Pogačar skipped clear at 5km from the summit of the Passo del Foscagno, everyone almost disregarded his action, as if a ghost had attacked. Or rather, Daniel Martinez tried to hold Tadej’s wheel for a moment, but soon settled back into the main GC group, where he found his true adversaries.

The GC gap carved by Pogačar has become colossal. In 14 km, he has managed to gain at least three minutes on all his rivals. With a week of the Giro still to go and 6’41” on Thomas, on stage 15, Tadej has the widest lead over the second in 70 years. The Slovenian is riding a league of his own. He has already won four stages, three of them in the Maglia Rosa. We all wonder if he will try to attack the record of Eddy Merckx (1973) and Learco Guerra (1934), who both won 5 stages in the Maglia Rosa. He will definitely have a his chances to try.

Behind him, the tussle broke out on the ramps of the Mottolino ski slope: Romain Bardet and Einer Rubio attacked with conviction, Geraint Thomas and Daniel Martinez finished together, Ben O’Connor lost a few seconds, and Antonio Tiberi went into a crisis in the last two kilometres, losing more than a minute from his direct rivals. The Maglia Bianca is safe, but Thymen Arensman is now dangerously close.

Let us all take a well-deserved break tomorrow, only to start again with another interesting stage with an uphill finish, the Livigno – Santa Cristina Valgardena. Tadej, are you done yet?

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