At the end of the 21st stage and last stage of the Tour defiance 2023, Tadej Pogacar returned to his terrible failure in the Col de la Loze.
Like last year, Tadej Pogacar finished second in the Grande Boucle behind his rival Jonas Vingegaard. A Tour that he lost during the time trial last Tuesday, then the next day in the Col de la Loze, where he suffered a major failure and dropped from six minutes in the yellow jersey. Upon his arrival on the Champs-Elysées on Sunday, the Slovenian rider returned to this turn, which he did not “didn’t feel it coming”.
“My body said stop”
« Last Monday (during the second day of rest), I felt good but my relatives already found that I was not really myself, said “Pogi” to the newspaper The team. Something happened and I don’t know exactly what yet. It’s not related to my wrist injury, it’s something else. On the images, you can see that I am all white on my bike. My body said stop. I didn’t already have great legs in the time trial (16th stage) but I would never have imagined losing so much time (1’38) on Vingegaard. It was pretty devastating, to be honest. »
“I had never experienced this before”
« The next day, I thought I could get back into the game but at the foot of the Col de la Loze, my body died out, he added. I couldn’t describe it any other way. I had nothing left. The end of the stage was really horrible, pure suffering, fortunately Marc (Soler) stayed by my side until the end. Without him I probably wouldn’t be on the podium today. I really fought against myself that day. The day after (18th stage) was almost even more difficult, even if it was flat, because I was completely screwed, emotionally drained. I had never experienced this before. »
“Until the second rest day, I felt super strong, at the same level as Jonas (Vingegaard). Then you know what happened. But I’m proud not to have given up and to have found my legs to win on Saturday (20th stage). This victory gave me a lot more joy and relief than I would have expected.confided the double winner of the Tour, who intends to return ” even stronger “ next year. It promises !