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Tadej Pogacar wins Giro d’Italia by historic margin, now eyes rare Tour de France double

May 26th, 2024

Tadej Pogacar won the Giro d’Italia by the largest margin in 59 years and in a little over a month will begin a bid to become the first cyclist since 1998 to win the Giro and the Tour de France in the same year.

Pogacar, a 25-year-old from Slovenia, dominated the three-week event in Italy, considered by many the second-most prestigious stage race after the Tour de France.

Pogacar won six stages, including a time trial and four mountain stages.

He took the lead on the second stage and held it through the 21st and final stage Sunday, prevailing by 9 minutes, 56 seconds over Colombian Dani Martinez.

The margin of victory was the largest in a Grand Tour (Giro, Tour de France, Vuelta a Espana) since Laurent Fignon won the 1984 Tour de France by 10:32 and the largest at the Giro since Vittorio Adorni won the 1965 edition by 11:26, according to ProCyclingStats.com.

“He’s the best I’ve raced with, I think, and I’ve raced with a lot of good guys,” said Geraint Thomas, the 2018 Tour de France champion who placed third at the Giro at age 38. “Just he’s so versatile and aggressive all year round as well.”

In his Giro debut, Pogacar added his first Giro title to his wins at the Tour de France in 2020 and 2021. He was runner-up at the Tour the last two years behind Jonas Vingegaard of Denmark.

In six career Grand Tour starts, Pogacar has finished in the top three every time.

He will now hope to become the eighth cyclist to win the Giro and the Tour in the same year and the first since Italian Marco Pantani in 1998.

The Tour starts June 29 in Italy, crossing into France on stage four.

Vingegaard hasn’t competed since breaking his collarbone and several ribs in an April 4 race crash and undergoing surgery.

In a video published May 7, Vingegaard said he hoped to race the Tour. He can bid to join a select group of men to win three consecutive Tours, most recently Chris Froome, Miguel Indurain and Eddy Merckx.

“We don’t know exactly how my shape and how my recovery will go, but I will do everything I can to get there in my top shape,” Vingegaard said.

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