Tadej Pogačar: 'I want to improve my ITT'

Wednesday 29 May 2024 • Blog

Fleur Kok

After Tadej Pogačar's historical Giro win, it's clear that he's performing on an extraordinary level. Looking at the data of CyclingOracle, that feeling gets confirmed by facts: Pogačar currently is the world's best cyclist. 

Last March, we spoke with him in Spain, after his third stage win of the Volta a Catalunya. Fleur was present at the finish with his printed rider card. Once he was done with the post-victory-obligations, he took the time to get a critical look at the values on his rider card, that have been generated by the CyclingOracle computer, based on every rider's results of the last three years.

Pogačar with his rider card at the Volta a Catalunya.

Pogačar about his rider card

“We try to get it to 100, no?” is Pogačar his first response as his eyes fall on the '98' in the top left corner. I explain that the maximum overall score in our model is 99, which is satisfactory to the Slovenian rider. "Ah, then it's pretty good." At that time (March 23rd, 2024), both Vingegaard and Pogačar had this outstanding overall score of 98, which according to the latter was 'fair'. 

Zooming in on the values for each skill, Pogačar elaborated on his ambitions. "I think I'd only deserve 95 on cobbles if I can prove myself in Paris-Roubaix. I'm indeed not participating there this year, but who knows what the future holds. Of the remaining classics, I'm only going to be there at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, which is where I score 99."

I think sprint should be a bit lower as well. The GC on the other hand... could be a bit higher right? ;-)" On the final question which score Pogačar would like to improve this year, his answer was clear: the ITT

Watch the footage of this interview on Instagram.

Rider card talk with Pogačar after his third stage victory in Volta a Catalunya.

Rider card talk with Pogačar after his third stage victory in Volta a Catalunya.

Victory Volta a Catalunya and Liège-Bastogne-Liège

The day after we spoke to Tadej Pogačar on March 23rd, he added a fourth stage win in the Volta a Catalunya and secured his GC victory in Barcelona. The Ronde van Vlaanderen, which he won in 2023 after an impressive solo, wasn't on his calendar this year, after which his cobbelstone rating dropped a bit. In Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the Slovenian rider confirmed his maximum hills-score of 99. 

The podium of Volta a Catalunya with Tadej Pogačar, Mikel Landa and Egan Bernal.

Giro: Pogačar improves his ITT, mountain and GC skills

And then it was time for this year's Giro d’Italia. With six stage wins and the overall victory in both the mountain classification and the general one, Pogačar can speak of an extraordinarily successful Giro debut. In the mountain stages, he managed to beat the mountain specialists, and as a result, his mountain rating increased to 96. 

Pogačar also saw his GC score go up to a value that represents his current qualities more accurately. If he wants to get even closer to 99, though, he'll have to show it in a stronger GC participation field. That opportunity is right around the corner with the Tour de France coming up in a month from now. 

And what about that ITT that Pogačar wanted to improve? He showed that he was indeed making a goal out of that one in Italy. In the first individual time trial in stage 7, it initially looked like Ganna was going to be the fastest of them all, but thanks to an outstanding final uphill sector of Pogačar, he managed to secure his second stage win in the first week of the Giro. 

In the second (mostly flat) time trial - one week later - it was up to the real time trial specialists. Number one favourite Ganna met everyone's expectations in an impressive way. Pogačar was able to follow the Italian's times for a long while, but eventually had to be content with a hard-fought second place. His prestations in those two individual time trials resulted in an increase of 90 to 92 in Pogačar his ITT rating.

Pogačar is the world's best cyclist 

As a result of the improvements in these different skills, the overall rating of Pogačar has automatically increased. He's the first male cyclist who reaches the maximum overall score of 99, which makes him the best cyclist out there at the moment. Vingegaard and Van der Poel are getting somewhat close to the rating of the Slovenian multi talent, with an overall score of 97. 

Does this mean that Pogačar has no more room for improvement? Absolutely not. He'll be extremely motivated to further improve his ITT and GC ratings, for which he's got a big opportunity coming up. 

The automatically mutated rider card of Pogačar: before and after the Giro

Next up? Tour de France

Time to look forward to the Tour de France now. Hopefully, we'll be witnissing a great battle between Pogačar and Vingegaard (amongst others), which from a CyclingOracle perspective will be even more interesting, thanks to their respective ratings. Since Vingegaard's unfortunate crash in Basque Country, his overall score has dropped slightly to 97, but with a GC score of 98, he's still considered the world's best GC rider. Will the Danish Visma - Lease a Bike rider be fit enough to beat the current best rider overall?

Team CyclingOracle will slowly but surely get started for their Tour de France preparation as well. Expect elaborate pre-race content, such as lots of (Dutch) podcast episodes, more interviews like this one, tips for your favourite fantasy games and - obviously - the computer predictions ahead of each stage. 

🧢Word net als ruim 200 anderen lid van onze WhatsApp Community via https://petjeaf.com/wielerorakel voor (expert) tips op maat en wielerpraat tijdens de Tour

📅Schrijf je in voor de 3e editie van de WielerOrakel Wielerquiz op zaterdag 15 juni 2024

📸Volg ons voor exclusieve foto- en videocontent op Instagram

🎙️Beluister de WielerOrakel Podcast op SPOTIFY of APPLE PODCAST

Compare riders