"The plan failed massively" - Adam Blythe critical of UAE Team Emirates' Milano-Sanremo tactics

Tadej Pogacar's wait for Milano-Sanremo success continues after this weekend. In the first monument of the season, the Slovenian was outsprinted by Jasper Philipsen for victory, with Michael Matthews taking second, with Pogacar having to settle for third.

Despite this year's edition being the fastest Milano-Sanremo in history, Pogacar spoke afterwards about how he felt the race wasn't hard enough. On Eurosport post-race, ex-pro turned analyst Adam Blythe expressed his belief UAE Team Emirates' tactics were to blame for Pogacar's disappointment. “I think the plan failed massively,” Blythe said. "They started way too early on the Capi, going too hard early on and using up a lot of riders. They were ill-positioned massively coming into the Cipressa."

Although critical of the team, Blythe was full of praise for the rider. “Pogacar did what he set out to do. He attacked on the Poggio as he said he would, did it twice, created a small gap and then got it back when it all came back together," Blythe continues. "That guy beat some of the best sprinters in the world. He beat Mads Pedersen and Jasper Stuyven in the sprint. The guys he beat - third place is the best-possible outcome for him.”

Blythe's Eurosport companion, Daniel Lloyd also shared a disappointed view of Pogacar's teammates. “Where was Diego Ulissi?" Lloyd questions. "There were a couple of riders on the scene like Marc Hirschi who was loitering but never actually did a job on the front, and that’s what I feel like they were missing. They did go hard on the Tre Capi, and you could see the riders suffering there, but they’d already used Domen Novak there. They’d used Alessandro Covi as well. It meant that Tim Wellens was already being asked to go on the Cipressa. The plan would have been not to use him on the Cipressa, to save him for the Poggio to ramp it up there."

“Behind the scenes, Pogacar is going to be very frustrated. That’s the first time he’s got separation on the Poggio from anybody else," Lloyd concludes. "This year, he had amazing legs. He had to leave it close to the finale to make his move.”

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