"It’s perhaps a little too crazy" - Tadej Pogacar officially rules out doing the Vuelta a Espana in 2024

With the Giro d'Italia in the bag and the Tour de France on the horizon, there was some suggestion Tadej Pogacar could aim to complete a historic Grand Tour hat-trick in 2024 at the Vuelta a Espana. The UAE Team Emirates leader himself though, has now officially quashed those rumours.

“I can assure you that the Giro-Tour-Vuelta triplet is not on the programme this year,” the dominant and comprehensive Maglia Rosa winner explains in an interview with Eurosport as the dust begins to settle on his emphatic Giro d'Italia triumph. “Winning every Grand Tour is a major goal for me but to do it in the same year… It’s perhaps a little too crazy. I prefer not to chase records, but to new challenges, and I am especially very attracted by races that I have not yet done.”

Whilst no rider has ever managed to complete the holy grail of cycling and win all three Grand Tours in the same season, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Chris Froome have all held the Maglia Rosa of the Giro, Maillot Jaune of the Tour and the Red Jersey of the Vuelta simultaneously. “I like new challenges to keep a certain freshness so I am not closed to anything,” Pogacar says. “But I'm also realistic, I know it's not just about showing up at the start and winning. Cycling is a sport with many specialities. Different terrain and different races favour different athletes and different preparations. Ask any rider, winning a pro race is a huge thing, and it takes extraordinary form, whatever the race.”

Although the Vuelta may be a step too far, Pogacar will target the World Championships later this summer and his manages to win the Tour de France, the Slovenian could become the first man since Stephen Roche to complete a Giro/Tour/World Championship treble. "The Tour and the Worlds are obviously major objectives for me, not only this year, but every year. I don't feel too much pressure. I’m still quite young, but I feel a very strong desire to win them one day," he admits. “Cycling is going through a very good era and I have experienced some very good battles with excellent. Let’s hope that the show will be superb again this year on the Tour.”

Also this summer are the Olympic Games in Paris, offering Pogacar another chance to write cycling history. “Any sport performed at the highest level always offers an impressive spectacle,” the Slovenian concludes with excitement. “I hope to be at the Games and maybe I can see some athletics or other events… That would be nice, if I have time.”

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