Tadej Pogacar "the modern Eddy Merckx" according to EF boss Jonathan Vaughters

Tadej Pogacar has been utterly dominant in the first week of the 2024 Giro d'Italia. Although somewhat expected on the climbs, the UAE Team Emirates leader has even been a key part of the drama on the sprint stages.

After attacking in the finale of stage 3 alongside Geraint Thomas, Pogacar pretty much singlehandedly brought back the attack of Jhonatan Narvaez to allow the sprinters to battle it out for the win on stage 9. "He was going to stay away if not for Pogacar. It's that simple. Pogacar was definitely the nail in the coffin," EF Education-EasyPost boss Jonathan Vaughters reflected post-stage 9 on Eurosport.

"This is what makes Pogacar so special. He's an all-around bike rider. He can sprint, he's a great bike handler, he's a great time triallist..." continues the American, just in awe of the Slovenian superstar's talents. "He is the modern Eddy Merckx. A lot of other GC riders, even if they wanted to give their sprinter a leadout, they don't have the skills. Whereas Pogacar, no problem."

At the first rest day, Pogacar leads the general classification by 2:40 from BORA - hansgrohe's Daniel Martinez with the Maglia Rosa already seemingly sewn up barring injury or incident. "Leading the race on day nine and he's doing the leadout, getting amongst a super dangerous sprint. The last time I can remember someone in a leader's jersey doing it was Bradley Wiggins [at the 2012 Tour de France]. That was the Champs-Elysees [final stage] not day nine into Naples," adds Adam Blythe on Eurosport in disbelief. "If Pogacar wasn't there, Narvaez was not getting caught. They [sprinters] needed someone like Pog to be able to do that turn."

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