"Huge question marks" surrounding Tadej Pogacar's sharpness despite Giro d'Italia stage win according to Robbie McEwen

It was widely expected and on stage 2, Tadej Pogacar powered into the overall lead at the 2024 Giro d'Italia with a summit stage win on stage 2 atop Oropa. Rather than moving into an already potentially race-winning position however, Pogacar took victory by 'only' 27 seconds.

“I think that's where all the questions have been coming, isn't it? How sharp was Pogacar compared to the races that he did on the run-in to the Giro? He did 10 days of racing, but he looked so sharp on every single one of them," analyses ex-pro turned Eurosport expert Daniel Lloyd on 'The Breakaway'. “Yes, he won. But as you pointed out, only by this much, not as much as perhaps a lot of us were expecting, and we did see some grimaces from him towards the finish line yesterday. It didn't look as though he'd just ridden up at 90% of his capabilities on the day and was thinking about the long haul, three weeks and not going too deep. To me, it looked like he was at least at 98%. Maybe even more than that.”

Pre-Giro d'Italia 2024, Lloyd's Eurosport colleague, Robbie McEwen urged Pogacar to ride conservatively during the Giro d'Italia, with the upcoming Tour de France in mind. After seeing the UAE Team Emirates take victory and move into the Maglia Rosa on stage 2 though, the Australian sprinting legend is unsure if Pogacar was riding within himself or not.

“There's a lot of speculation he's not as sharp as he was. He hasn’t been distancing them with his initial attacks, like we've been used to seeing," McEwen explains. “It's just really hard to tell if he's being a little bit conservative with everything he's got in front of a long Giro, the Tour that he wants to try and win as well, or if it's just a case of he can't do much better than he's doing at the moment. Is he going to get worse? Is he going to improve during the Giro? Huge question marks and it's going to be entertaining to watch nonetheless.”

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