Finish-line video captures Tadej Pogačar’s frustration at Tour of Flanders
The usually mild mannered Pogačar is seen gesticulating to Dutch rider Dylan van Baarle immediately after crossing the line.
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A finish-line video from Sunday’s Tour of Flanders captures just how upset and frustrated Tadej Pogačar was after missing out on victory and finishing fourth.
Video from FloBikes shows Pogačar confronting Dylan van Baarle moments after crossing the line.
The usually mild-mannered Pogačar was seen redirecting his bike after crossing the line and circling back to confront the Ineos Grenadiers rider.
The two-time Tour de France could be seen gesticulating at van Baarle, who sprinted past Pogačar in the closing 150m of the race, costing him a chance at the podium in the Belgian monument.
Pogačar and van Baarle exchanged heated words before team staffers pulled them apart.
Later, when speaking to the media at the team bus about 30 minutes after the race, Pogačar played down the finish line drama.
“In the moment I was really disappointed because I could not do my sprint because I was boxed in,” Pogačar said. “That’s cycling. Sometimes you are boxed in, and sometimes you have an open road.
“I was not even mad about anyone, it seemed like this, but I was frustrated with myself because I could not do the last 100 meters to the finish,” said Pogačar.
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The video, however, reveals just how high emotions were running at the end of Pogačar’s dramatic Tour of Flanders debut.
After lighting up the final hour of racing with searing attacks, Pogačar was swarmed at the line by van Baarle and Valentin Madouas, who sprinted past him to reach the podium spots behind winner Mathieu van der Poel.
Pogačar even took his left hand off the handlebar and pushed against van Baarle’s back as the Dutch rider swept past him. Pogačar, a moment later, raised both hands in frustration as he watched the race slip away in the final 200 meters.
Van Baarle insists he did nothing wrong as he swept past Pogačar with speed and chased van der Poel’s wheel.
“It wasn’t a congratulations that he was saying at the finish line,” van Baarle said. “He was a bit angry but maybe a bit frustrated. I think I didn’t do anything wrong, I just kept my line.”
UAE Emirates sport directors later reviewed the finish line video with the race jury, but the results were not altered, officials confirmed.
Pogačar seems to have put the incident quickly behind him, and on Monday, he previewed the cobblestone sectors in northern France that will be featured in stage 5 of the Tour de France this summer.
Pogačar returned home, and will race again at Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège later this month.
After that, he will take a quick break and train at altitude while leading up to his Tour de France title defense. He is expected to race only at the Tour of Slovenia in June ahead of the 2022 Tour.