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Tadej Pogačar to Ride Giro d’Italia in 2024

By Monica Buck

In 2024, cycling star Tadej Pogačar is set to participate in the Giro d’Italia, a decision confirmed by RCS, the event’s organizers. This announcement marks the Slovenian rider’s debut in the Italian Grand Tour. Pogačar, a two-time champion of the Tour de France, has an impressive track record, consistently finishing on the podium in all the Grand Tours he has competed in, including the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España.

RCS revealed this surprising news on social media, causing quite a stir among cycling fans. Pogačar’s participation in the Giro d’Italia is a significant shift in his career trajectory, which has previously focused on the Tour de France, along with other major races like the Olympics and the World Championships.

The 2024 season presents unique challenges for Pogačar, with the Paris Olympics following the Tour de France. Details about the rest of his season’s schedule are expected to be released by his team, UAE Team Emirates, shortly.

While Pogačar’s participation in the Tour de France seems probable due to its prominence, competing for general classification in both the Giro and Tour is a formidable challenge rarely attempted by riders. The last successful attempt at this double was by Marco Pantani in 1998.

Tadej Pogačar
Pogačar at 2024 Il Lombardia. © Profimedia

Pogačar’s decision to enter the Giro d’Italia has positioned him as a top contender for the maglia rosa. His record in Italy, including wins at Il Lombardia and Tirreno-Adriatico, showcases his prowess, but the Giro presents a unique challenge with its distinct characteristics compared to the Tour or Vuelta.

The 2024 Giro d’Italia features a demanding route with iconic climbs like the Passo dello Stelvio, gravel sections, and a new challenging ascent. It includes two individual time trials, six mountain finishes, and a dramatic final week in the Dolomites.

Pursuing the Giro-Tour double has proven difficult in recent years. Chris Froome won the Giro in 2018 but placed third in the Tour, while Alberto Contador achieved a Giro victory in 2015 but finished fifth in the Tour. Pogačar may aim for stage victories in the Tour after targeting the general classification in Italy.

The achievement of winning both the Giro and Tour has been accomplished by legendary cyclists like Fausto Coppi, Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, and Miguel Indurain. Pogačar’s entry into the Giro d’Italia adds significant prestige to the event, already featuring cycling stars such as Wout van Aert and former Tour winner Geraint Thomas.