Tadej Pogačar hints at big attack in Milan-San Remo
Could Pogačar uncork a long-distance attack to fend off the sprinters? It could happen.
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FLORENCE, Italy (VN) – Can Tadej Pogačar steamroll the Cipressa and the Poggio with a long-distance attack to win Milan-San Remo?
The Slovenian is on an unbeatable streak, and everyone is wondering if Pogačar will try to attack early on the two emblematic climbs of the Italian monument in the same searing fashion how he won Strade Bianche and Tirreno-Adriatico this month.
“I think it’s difficult unless you cut it on the bottom then you can make Cipressa or Poggio,” he said. “I think a long attack at Milan-San Remo that would be something.”
There was some uncertainty about the question, and a journalist clarified that he did not mean an attack from the Passo del Turchini, which comes with about 100km left to race.
“Not likely, I don’t think so,” Pogačar said with a laugh. “I think he meant long before — maybe from Cipressa you can do it.”
Pogačar will ride the Italian monument for the second time. In his debut in 2020, he was 12th, finishing in the chase group behind winner Wout van Aert and runner-up Julian Alaphilippe.
Pogačar is three-for-three so far in 2022, and the peloton is abuzz with the prospect of a clearly very much on form Pogačar trying to attack up and over the Poggio or the Cipressa, which is further away.
Making history, one race at a time
The last long-distance attack to win San Remo came all the way back in the 1990s.
Pogačar confirmed that he is starting with the intention of winning.
“Everybody is asking me about the race,” he said. “We can expect a long, hard race. It’s Milan-San Remo, it’s one of the hardest to win. We will go with a strong team. We will try our best.
“I don’t have enough fingers,” he said holding up both hands when asked about pre-race favorites. “There are too many. I will not go into names because I will forget a lot of names right now.”
Last year, Pogačar won two of cycling’s five monuments, with wins at Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Il Lombardia.
Even if the race is called the “sprinter’s classic,” he’ll be among the favorites Saturday.
“It’s always hard to improve,” he said. “I can maybe take down one kilo, then we’ll see if it’s better or not. If I am like this until Liege, I am more than happy.”