Tadej Pogačar widens net to target monuments, grand tours and worlds in 2022

Not content with 'just' the Tour de France, Slovenian star outlines 2022 ambitions that also include the Vuelta a España, four monuments, and the worlds.

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Tadej Pogačar is not content with “just” the Tour de France.

The UAE-Emirate star mapped out an ambitious 2022 program that also includes a run at the Vuelta a España, the road world championships, and four of the five major one-day monuments.

Speaking to Slovenian journalists in a Zoom call, Pogačar confirmed a title defense at the Tour in what would be a third straight title will be the center of what could be a very busy 2022.

“The start will be similar to this year, and I will open the season in the UAE Tour, which is very important for the team,” Pogačar said. “I will almost certainly compete in four monuments, probably the Tour and Vuelta, but also at the world championships, where the route will not be so sprinting and it will be difficult to control.”

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The 23-year-old Pogačar has never raced more than one grand tour in the same season since turning pro in 2019, when he debuted at the Vuelta that year with three stage victories and third overall.

In 2020 and 2021, he won the Tour two years in a row, but did not race another grand tour. So far, he’s putting off a run at the Giro d’Italia, but hinted a return to the Vuelta will likely be in the cards for 2022.

“I want [2022] to be as good as last season, or even better,” Pogačar said. “I know a crash or a fall can mean a long time off the bike.”

Widening ambitions in the monuments

Also of note is that Pogačar suggested he will race four of the five monuments, which means he could race the Tour of Flanders for the first time. He won Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Il Lombardia in 2021, and raced to 12th in his first crack at Milano-Sanremo in 2020.

The addition of a possible start at the Vuelta and the road world championships, set for a challenging course on the Australian coast, could mean a very long season for the Slovenian star.

Pogačar suggested the season’s road map is not etched in stone, and admitted, “the season will be quite strenuous.”

Pogačar is set to join his UAE-Emirates teammates at a team camp in Spain in January, and make his season debut at the UAE Tour in February.