Is Tadej Pogačar getting greedy at the Giro d'Italia? GCN Racing News Show

As Pogačar dominates the first week of the Italian Grand Tour, Conor Dunne discusses whether UAE are being too greedy with stage wins

Clock05:52, Tuesday 14th May 2024

We're already a week into the Giro d'Italia and it comes as no huge surprise that Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) is already dominating this year's race. Stage 8 marked his third stage win at this year's Giro and helped cement his lead of 2:40 over Dani Martínez (Bora-Hansgrohe) as we head into the second week.

So, Conor Dunne poses the question this week of whether Pogačar and his UAE Team Emirates team are becoming too greedy with stage wins. There has been some talk that they should allow other riders and teams in the breakaway to have their moment, a chance at some of the glory, rather than chasing them down.

This may sound odd to those who have only been following road racing for a short period. But back in the 1980s and 1990s, it was reasonably common that favours were given, banked and returned between teams and riders, with greater acceptance that the break was given a good chance of victory.

However, Conor's view is that this is nonsense. Racing has moved on since then and there is absolutely nothing wrong with Pogačar and UAE chasing the wins. This, he argues, is top-level cycling after all and he is paid very well to win bike races, which is exactly what he should do – and is doing. The onus is really on the other teams and riders to work out a strategy that gives them the upper hand and a better chance of a stage victory. Admittedly, this may be easier said than done when dealing with a rider of Pogačar's ability.

Read more: 'We look sometimes like clowns' says Max Schachmann of Tadej Pogačar's Giro d'Italia superiority

There's no doubt that we're seeing a change in strategy. Teams often used to be more conservative with their approach and tried to reserve energy for not just the leader but also their teammates, which ultimately meant more success for the breakaway.

That's been far from the case at the Giro, where Pogačar's teammates have expended a lot of energy, although that has clearly paid off so far. How will this affect them for the remaining fortnight and will they ultimately pay for it in the rest of the race? Only time will tell, even if we do think we already know the answer. Strange things can happen in bike racing though, especially at the Giro d'Italia, so maybe there are a few twists and turns still to come.

We'd love to know what you think, please let us know in the comments below this article.

Away from the Giro, Conor looks back at a busy week of bike racing. There's also been action at Itzulia Women where Demi Vollering secured a third successive victory for SD Worx-Protime at the race and the Tour du Finistère which saw Frenchman Benoît Cosnefroy come out on top.

It was the Tour de Hongrie that held a particular significance though with Mark Cavendish officially becoming the best sprinter of all time. He took his 164th career win thanks to a stage 2 victory ahead of Dylan Groenewegen. It's a win that edges him ahead of Italian Mario Cipollini, 18 years since his took his first victory at a .1 level race back in 2006.

We can't help but admire Cav's longevity as well as his excellent win rate over the years – well done Cav!

Keep up to date with all the latest racing news from the world of cycling over on our dedicated race hub and follow reports and analysis from the Giro d'Italia on our dedicated section on the GCN website.

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