"We stared at the TV screen and didn't know what was happening" - Urska Zigart recalls watching Itzulia horror crash with Tadej Pogacar

At the Itzulia Basque Country earlier this year, three of the main contenders for the upcoming Tour de France crashed and crashed hard. The only one of the so called 'Big 4' that wasn't present at the race, was Tadej Pogacar.

As rivals Jonas Vingegaard, Remco Evenepoel and Primoz Roglic among other riders were rushed to hospital following their involvement in the crash, Pogacar was watching in shock alongside partner, Urska Zigart. "We stared at the TV screen and didn't know what was happening," Zigart recalls in conversation with Sporza. "It even gave me a stomach ache."

Whilst both Roglic and Evenepoel have insisted on their intentions to still compete at the Tour de France later this summer, for Pogacar's main rival Vingegaard, things look a lot more difficult following nearly two weeks in a hospital bed with numerous fractures and most worryingly, a perforated lung.

Speaking about Pogacar's current level however, Zigart feels the UAE Team Emirates leader is getting somewhere near his best. "Tadej is certainly fine at the moment, but after the Volta a Catalunya he was very tired. He also had difficulty getting used to the altitude. After a long training, he was once so tired that I almost beat him in the sprint," she laughs.

This Sunday at Liege-Bastogne-Liege, both Zigart and Pogacar will be competing and there will be some extra incentive too as the day marks the two-year anniversary of the death of Zigart's mother. "I don't want to jinx it, but I hope Tadej can honor her with a victory in Liège," she concludes.

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