Joseba Beloki went down in the history of the Tour de France, partly for his impressive podiums in the era of Lance Armstrong's greatest dominance but mainly for his famous fall in the 2003 Tour de France when he was fighting face-to-face with the American.
He knows well what it it's like to get injured and how difficult it can be to return if you rush it, which is why he wanted to send Tadej Pogacar some advice after his unfortunate fall at Liège-Bastogne-Liège: "An unforeseen event for the Tour. Roller, rehabilitation, splint... But how far is it worth pushing? Assessing his career, overall, I would be cautious. Those injuries are very screwed up."
"In the best case scenario, he will be ready in time for the Tour" - Tadej Pogacar's surgeon gives positive update
The UAE Team Emirates set-up have not wanted to get to ahead of themselves with predictions. There is talk of six weeks of recovery after having had surgery on the scaphoid. "It's too early to tell. It's not a single bone, there are several. The first thing is to see how the operation is going. I hope it goes well," said Mauro Gianetti, one of the team bosses.
The doctor who operated on him has not fully declared that Pogacar will make it to the Tour either: "As with any fracture, nature needs time to heal, so we have to wait and see." Despite all this logical concern on the part of former cyclists, UAE Team Emirates sports director and the surgeon who operated on him, we would be very surprised if Tadej Pogacar was not front and centre in the battle for the Maillot Jaune at this summer's Tour de France.