Remco Evenepoel had said it several times in recent days: “How to beat Pogačar? You have to hope he gets tired. Perhaps after the Strade Bianche effort… but I doubt that will happen”. Indeed, it hasn’t happened, not yet at least. Tadej himself is struggling to hold off his legs, as shown by yesterday’s totally irrational attack on the flat. Today he seemed to win with a certain nonchalance, limiting himself to containing his opponents on the final climb and setting off an explosive acceleration in the last kilometre. And who knows how much it must have cost him to wait until the last kilometre, he who likes to set the race on fire with plenty of kilometres to go?
The impression is that he is not only unbeatable these days, but also has the best leg ever. Perhaps only in the first week of the Tour de France 2021 did he reach this level. He has now gained even more confidence and probably made yet another upgrade from a physical point of view, but what is certain is that the more time goes by, the easier it seems for him to win. Last year’s Lombardia proved that, if he wants to, he can really do whatever he likes.
Milano-Sanremo will quite likely prove to be the proverbial litmus test. If he were to win that too – which would be his third Monumental Classic after Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Il Lombardia – then it would no longer be utopian to talk about a new Merckx. He would just have to start winning in the sprints, which he can already do in small groups.