“We’re halfway there, now we just need to win the Tour…” - Mauro Gianetti's excitement building thanks to Tadej Pogacar's incredible dominance

Looking to become the first man since Marco Pantani back in 1998 to complete a Giro d'Italia/Tour de France double in the same season, Tadej Pogacar already has the first of the Grand Tours in his bag. As such, the excitement is growing within UAE Team Emirates.

“We’re halfway there, now we just need to win the Tour…” UAE Team Emirates team manager Mauro Gianetti tells Cycling News after the Slovenian captured the 2024 Giro d'Italia by the completely dominant margin of nearly ten minutes over his closest rival, Daniel Martinez. “It’s a big challenge, we knew that from the outset but our attitude is that if you don't try, you cannot achieve anything."

"This year we set the Giro-Tour double as a goal and that’s what we're working towards," Gianetti continues, explaining how UAE Team Emirates' whole year is built around supporting Pogacar in his history-making quest. “Everything has gone to plan so far and so from Tuesday, we’ll start to focus on the Tour de France and completing the double.”

According to Gianetti, the plan was in place for Pogacar to target the double ever since the reveal of the Giro profile was revealed. "Tadej is now at the right age to target the Giro-Tour double. And the design of the Giro d'Italia was perfect too, definitely not as hard as other recent editions," he recalls. "When we saw the route at the 2024 Giro route presentation, we said: ‘Wow! This is the year to try it."

With the Tour de France quickly following the Giro d'Italia though, it's imperative that Pogacar do all he can to keep his obviously high level going for as long as possible. “So far, everything is good. Tadej has been amazing. As I think everyone has seen in the last three weeks, he’s in incredibly good shape," Gianetti assesses optimistically. "That’s because he’s worked so hard and so seriously from the beginning of the season.”

“We let him work quietly at home this winter but in the right way, specifically for the stage races,” Gianetti explains. "It was obvious that if he raced the Classics again, he’d have to race more and do different types of training. Instead Tadej focused on preparing for stage races and specifically for the Giro and Tour. As part of that we’ve seen an evolution in his body, in his numbers. We’re monitoring all his parameters and everything is good, so far even better than our expectations. That has been amazing to see.”

“All the big champions have won the Giro, from Coppi to Merckx, Hinault and others. The Tour is the Tour but the Giro is also very important and it’s important for Tadej to understand that and to add the Giro to his palmares," Gianetti concludes. “If you want to be remembered forever in cycling, then you need to win the Giro, you need to wear the pink jersey and be proud of it. Winning the Giro is important for Tadej, for our team and for the whole of the UAE and our project to promote cycling and healthy living."

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