"He's going to be a great rider in the future" - Tadej Pogacar impressed by stage 17 winner Georg Steinhauser at Giro d'Italia

Tadej Pogacar had to settle for second on stage 17 of the 2024 Giro d'Italia as despite a late attack, the Maglia Rosa couldn't quite claw back the gap to Georg Steinhauser, who held on from the breakaway to take the stage win.

"I'm happy. That was the plan today. It was very difficult for the breakaway to leave because we started uphill and the first breakaway was very strong with very good riders and we were happy with that," recalls the UAE Team Emirates in his post-stage interview. "We therefore set a good pace on the climbs and slow on the descents to stay safe."

Although Pogacar and UAE Team Emirates were happy to let the breakaway go, other teams had different plans. "Team DSM-Firmenich PostNL went downhill really hard and then they caught the break," Pogacar recalls. Having completed the catch however, the team of Romain Bardet then completely sat up, drawing the ire of Pogacar's loyal domestique Rafal Majka in the process.

"Steinhauser attacked again and went really strong today and deserved the win. I'm happy with my legs and the way we raced," concludes Pogacar, clearly impressed by the ride of the young EF Education-EasyPost talent. "When the first group started and we heard the names we said to ourselves that it was a good breakaway to let go. Steinhauser again did an impressive race. I think he will become a great rider in the future, so let's keep an eye on him and congratulations to him for today."

With 17 stages completed, the Maglia Rosa is now all but officially guaranteed for Pogacar barring injury, illness or other such unfortunate incident, the Slovenian has a gargantuan gap of 7:42 over Daniel Martinez and over eight minutes to the third-placed rider in the general classification, INEOS Grenadiers leader and former Tour de France winner, Geraint Thomas.

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