José de Cauwer on Pogacar, Vingegaard, Roglic and Evenepoel's Tour: "Pogacar always had a reason for losing the Tour in the past two years. Now he is in top shape"

The Tour de France is starting in just over a week and all analysts are sharp to give their thoughts and analyze the upcoming edition. Whilst perhaps not the top four favourites to win the race, José de Cauwer talks about the four names which bring the most spotlight into the race: Tadej Pogacar, Jonas Vingegaard, Primoz Roglic and Remco Evenepoel.

"Pogacar always had a reason for losing the Tour in the past two years. Now he is in top shape and he is starting with a top team. Visma-Lease a Bike, on the other hand, will have to race against his nature. But that can only result in a beautiful race," De Cauwer said for Sporza. "For me, Pogacar was the top favorite anyway, that will not be different now. But that does not mean that Vingegaard will just disappear. Moreover, Pogacar's playfulness has often led to a counterattack."

With the opening two days being quite difficult, like last year Tadej Pogacar may want to attack in order to test a Vingegaard who comes into the race with unknown form to his rivals. Last year Pogacar was the one on the backfoot, so it seems almost certain this will be the case in the hills before the finales in Rimini and specially Bologna.

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"But whether Vingegaard had fallen or not, a third Tour victory in a row would have been just as difficult, against this Tadej Pogacar," de Cauwer argues after a Giro where he was head and shoulder above the competition. "The first few days are difficult, but even when such riders are at 95 percent and still growing, that should still be possible."

"Pogacar is also coming out of a period of rest after the Giro. It must be that someone like Primoz Roglic will go for it from day one," the Belgian believes. Certainly the climb to the Madona di San Luca is one that suits Roglic - a winner of the Giro dell'Emilia in the past. He and Evenepoel have well suited stages on the opening weekend to try and take the yellow jersey and make some differences to their rivals before the high mountains.

"With Remco Evenepoel, it will be even more spicy. We also have high hopes for him, but we don't really know what we can and may expect," he concludes.

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