Tadej Pogacar is one of the most ambitious riders in the peloton, and he doesn't hide that his ultimate goal in 2023 will be to recover his title at the Tour de France, and that will come before he tries out the Giro d'Italia.
“I still don’t know when I’ll manage to compete for the maglia rosa. It’s a race that I really like, it intrigues me, but circumstances have pushed me to give priority to the Tour de France," Pogacar admitted to Gazetta dello Sport. "After my second place of this year, my objective is to recapture the Tour.”
The Slovenian is yet to make his debut at the Giro, but 2023 won't be the year. Although the pure climber-suited route at the Tour will see more competition, his record at the race, his team's objectives and his proven preparation see no reason to change his approach. Having a lot of focus on the spring classics, he prefers to peak there, and then prepare again for the Tour, instead of sacrificing both for the Giro d'Italia - where the team will have João Almeida, and certainly other quality climbers present.
“I’d be happy to have a similar level of performance to my last seasons, when I managed to win important races. Of course, the objective is to go again for the Tour, but it won’t be easy," he continues, likely having to face a strong Jumbo-Visma and several other premier stage-racers at the Grand Boucle.
“Italy won’t be missing from the calendar," he reveals however. "In my heart, there’s the desire to make up for my fourth place this year at the Tour of Flanders. San Remo is another one because I haven’t managed to win it yet."
"...and finally there’s the World Championships: it’s a race I’m really missing and in 2023 it will be a nice challenge, with the novelty that the rainbow jersey is up for grabs in the summer," he concluded, although the Glasgow course will suit other riders better, it will be another opportunity to target the rainbow jersey.