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The five-time Tour winner suggested that Roglič ease back on his ambitions across the entire season, and bet everything on winning the yellow jersey.
“If you’re spending a lot of energy throughout the season, you’ll be missing that in the Tour de France,” Indurain told reporters. “He starts the season off really strong.
“Cycling’s changed and they know how to pace themselves a little better,” Indurain said during Itzulia Basque Country. “But we can see that it’s always hard for him to finish off a grand tour with all of his strength.”
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Roglič is part of a new breed of racers who are turning back the page on modern cycling, and instead of trying to peak for one or two major goals, today’s top GC stars race at a higher level across a larger swath of the season.
That’s how the major champions in the past would race, but that started to change in the 1980s and 1990s as the Tour de France emerged as the singular most important race on the calendar.
Riders from Indurain all the way through Chris Froome would slowly build toward a season peak at the Tour, the one race on the cycling calendar that truly enters the imagination of the larger public.
The rise of riders such as Roglič, Tadej Pogačar, and Wout van Aert is proving that riders can be competitive and successful at several points on the calendar.
After watching Roglič struggle in the closing days of grand tours, however, Indurain suggested the Jumbo-Visma start should consider putting all of his GC eggs into the Tour basket.
“I think he has to learn to measure himself if he wants to win a Tour de France,” Indurain said. “Roglič is going well, he really likes these types of races, and he is the favorite to win this week.”
Miguel Indurain on Tadej Pogačar: Too early to call him the next Eddy Merckx
Indurain also said that it’s too early to call Tadej Pogačar the “next Eddy Merckx.”
Pogačar continues to impress coming into his fourth WorldTour season, with victories at Strade Bianche and Tirreno-Adriatico, and dynamic performances at Milan-San Remo and the Tour of Flanders.
“Those are big words. Eddy was the best and he was the greatest. Pogačar is going well, but there is still a long way to go,” Indurain said. “He’s not like me, either. I rode a little differently in the mountains as well in the time trials.
“He is a natural-born winner, and he likes to win a lot. He has a great instinct, he’s a winner and a fighter, but he’s just getting started.”
👨👩👦 Roglič family having a great time at @ehitzulia .
— Itzulia Basque Country (@ehitzulia) April 5, 2022