"I think he still needs to mature a little bit" - Tejay Van Garderen suggests Tadej Pogacar needs to race more tactically

Tadej Pogacar was phenomenal at the Giro d'Italia, winning the race by little less than 10 minutes is unprecedented in modern cycling history. But with that questions arise whether the Slovenian wouldn't have been better off riding more conservatively with views to Tour de France just a month later.

In NBC's 'Beyond the Podium' podcast former pro and current EF Education-EasyPost sports director Tejay Van Garderen analyzes Pogacar's energy spending at Giro: "There were multiple times where the stage was just there for him to take. And if it's there for him to take, go ahead and take it," he draws an example on the shortened stage 16 to Santa Cristina Valgardena, where Movistar basically controlled the stage for the Slovenian, who didn't have to spend any extra energy bar the last five kilometers of the stage.

However there were times when UAE Team Emirates could've sat up and let the breakaway do their thing, but they paced for Pogacar instead. "Stage 8 was where he put his team on the front, nobody's up there for GC. You're wasting a lot of energy, your team is wasting a lot of energy. Tadej doesn't need to think only about himself, he also needs to think the effort his team making, because if he says 'I want to win today' and puts his team on the front, they're gonna pay for that."

"Regardless it was a very dominant display, super impressive. I loved watching it," Van Garderen makes clear from the fan perspective. "But I do think he still needs to mature a little bit. And think about 'Am I spending energy in the right places? For the right reasons?'" is his advice to the 25-year-old phenomenon on the brink of reaching the 'legend of the sport' status.

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