“You never know exactly how you’ll be in the first races" - Tadej Pogacar unsure of form heading into season opener at Strade Bianche

On the 2nd of March, renowned Italian one-day race, Strade Bianche will be on the calendar. Notable at this year's edition will be the season opener of Slovenian superstar, Tadej Pogacar.

“Strade Bianche is a race I love and have great memories from,” the UAE Team Emirates leader said prior to the start of the 'Sixth Monument' to his team's official website. “My preparation has been really good and we’ll be racing for the win. You never know exactly how you’ll be in the first races and there will be big rivals but I think with our team we can be ready for anything.”

Part of an all-star UAE Team Emirates lineup, Pogacar will be joined by the likes of Isaac del Toro, Marc Hirschi and Tim Wellens among others. “After seeing such a strong start for the team I can’t wait to start racing again myself,” Pogacar continues. “I’ve been patient and taken a bit of a slower approach to this year and started racing a bit later. It’s going to be a long season, including two grand tours, so new territory for me in that regard. But I’m excited by the prospect, it’s something new.”

As touched upon there, 2024 is a big year for Pogacar. After two years without a Grand Tour success, the 25-year-old is doubling his chances of ending that wait this year by targeting a Giro d'Italia/Tour de France double.

“I probably could have before, but it’s a nice time to have a new challenge in my career. I know myself well now, if nothing goes wrong in my head, I can do all three grand tours if I want. You don’t know until you try,” he concludes. “This is a good year to do 100 percent in Giro and 100 percent in Tour. I think it can be super good, or it can be just not so good.”

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