Alberto Contador on Tadej Pogacar and Jonas Vingegaard ahead of Tour de France: "I think these two riders are on another level"

Ahead of the Tour de France Alberto Contador has analyzed the two big favourites. In his opinion Tadej Pogacar and Jonas Vingegaard are a level above the rest, but he does worry about how Tadej Pogacar's wrist injury may influence his form running into the race.

“I am worried. But what worries me isn’t his wrist during the race. What worries me is how that wrist injury has affected his preparation," Contador told Eurosport regarding Tadej Pogacar's injury. “It’s clear that they will have had to change a lot of plans. They will have had to reorganise altitude camps, restructure race calendars, reschedule training plans of riders he was supposed to be with, etc. It will have been a real challenge, so we will have to see how the Tour de France goes for them. So I don’t think it’s all about how his wrist might affect him on the Tour de France, but more about how it has affected Tadej Pogacar’s preparation to enter this Tour de France in optimal form.”

Having missed an altitude camp in May and time in the aero tunnel, Pogacar has had an alternative run-up calendar to the Tour. He's gotten back on the road in late May, took on a camp in Sierra Nevada followed by some days of Tour de France recons, and now finally another camp in Sestrière. He takes on the national championships this weekend to get a bit of race rhythm before the Tour which starts off immediately with a tough day in Bilbao.

Click here to create your own team for the Fantasy Tour de France. At least $37,900/€35,000/£29,920 in prizes!!

He was likely to race once again his home Tour of Slovenia but that was scratched from the plan. A rider of his quality is unlikely to suffer greatly from that change, however little details matter, taking into consideration how well balanced the duo was last year. Jumbo-Visma has not given any room for error as they go into the race with an incredibly strong lineup, and Jonas Vingegaard himself as recently dominated the Criterium du Dauphiné which was the best sign he could've hoped for ahead of his title defense.

“If we are only talking about those riders, then we have to watch out for Vingegaard. Why? Because of [Wout]Van Aert. Van Aert is not just a crucial rider in the mountains, Van Aert is a crucial rider on any terrain. He showed us last year on the cobbles. And we know how great [Sepp] Kuss can be," the former Tour winner says of the main supporters the Dane will have throughout the three weeks.

"What is true is that the UAE team have really done their homework this year. They have reinforced their team substantially (with the likes of Adam Yates who should be a key right-hand man in the mountains, ed.) and the team is a lot more competitive than it was in 2022. So overall, the two teams are very close heading into this Tour de France.”

“To be totally honest I think these two riders are on another level. There are a lot of quality riders who might make things difficult for them, but I think Pogacar and Vingegaard are the big favourites - they are so good all around, whether we are talking about time trials, mountains, even sprinting which allows them to grab bonus seconds," he concluded.

Place comments



More comments

You are currently seeing only the comments you are notified about, if you want to see all comments from this post, click the button below.

Show all comments