Miguel Indurain on Tadej Pogacar and Tour de France record: "I wouldn’t be surprised if he surpassed my 5 Tours"

Miguel Indurain has won five Tours de France and holds an achievement that he believes Tadej Pogacar could reach. The Spaniard has talked a lot about the changes in technology over the last 30 years in the peloton and on the chances of the UAE Team Emirates rider winning this year's edition.

“I see him well, this could be the right year. But be careful not to underestimate Vingegaard, I expect him to improve as the stages go by. The Slovenian is young and has started winning very early, I wouldn’t be surprised if he surpassed my 5 Tours," Indurain said in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport. Currently Pogacar has two, and could well have four if Jonas Vingegaard hadn't shown up in the past two years.

But Indurain does believe that Pogacar will reach a limit in a few years, the case of racing at the highest level for so long. "Even if I don’t think he has that many years ahead of him: staying at those levels requires an almost superhuman physical and mental effort, after 10 years of racing so intensely your head can only say enough”.

The Spanish cycling legend has been asked about what he thinks of the technology and team sizes of the current peloton in comparison with the 90's and the response is rather complete. “Today cycling is a globalized sport. in my day it was all or almost all in Italy, France and Spain. Today the riders have the best technologies: helmets and aero suits, incredible materials and wheels, power meters."

"When I won my Tours, I barely had a heart rate monitor. I don't say this with regret, everyone has their own era. My Banesto had a staff of 20/25 people, today the teams with the biggest budgets easily reach 100”. It doesn't feel too distant but the rise in nutrition has also been incredibly steep over the past decade, and Indurain tells how simple this aspect of the sport was in the days where he'd ride for the win.

“I remember that in 1992 we started taking the first mineral salts and glucose tablets. But I can't even say how many grams of carbohydrates per hour I was taking. The only worry was to remember to eat a sandwich, otherwise you would go into a hunger crisis," he admits. "And back then it happened often. Today who sees a hunger crisis anymore? These guys are going really fast, but they have products available to them that help them a lot”.

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