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Refreshed Tadej Pogačar aims for ambitious autumn with his eyes on the rainbow jersey


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Tadej Pogacar is back from his vacation after the Olympics and returns to racing with an ambitious fall calendar anchored by the World Championships and Il Lombardia.

The two-time defending Tour de France champion returns to the Bretagne Classic-Ouest France on Sunday, and will start the European Championships (9-12 September) before chasing the rainbow jersey and the Italian fall classic .

“I took a week off and went to the beach. Now I’m ready to run again, ”Pogacar said on a media call on Saturday. “This is the first time that I do [Plouay], and it will be an honor to compete with the Slovenian national team at the world championships.

Pogacar continues to fly high after his brilliant summer, marked by a second yellow jersey in the Tour and bronze in the elite men’s road race in Tokyo.

Despite his skyrocketing profile, Pogacar insists he is still a racing cyclist in his essence.

“People recognize me on the streets, but it’s not like I’m a pop star. I’m just a cyclist, ”he said. “I like to run with my bike. I am living my dream right now. I am excited to be running again.

The UAE star said he has a special focus on the European time trial title, where he will face players like Filippo Ganna (Italy) and Remco Evenepoel (Belgium).

“I’ve never focused on a one-day time trial before, and I want to improve in that area,” he said. “And I will participate in the road race at the world championships. “

The rainbow jersey is something that has so far escaped the prolific Pogacar, who has never won the world title as a junior or U23. His best result as a pro was 18th in 2019.

The demanding Flemish-style course that ends in Leuven could prove to be a challenge, but Pogačar insists it will be there.

After the world championships, Pogacar will participate for the first time in Il Lombardia. After winning Liège-Bastogne-Liège this spring, he will be one of the favorites to add a second monument to his growing trophy case.

“I like to participate in different races that I haven’t run yet,” said Pogacar. “I would like to race the Giro and the Vuelta, two races that I haven’t won yet. There are a lot of races I can still win.

Pogacar’s 2022 schedule will be confirmed in the coming months once itinerary details are revealed for the big tours.

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