Pogacar does his thing in Flecha Wallona to complete the Ardennes Triptych

Like a child who carefully places the latest sticker from his favorite collection, Tadej Pogacar This Wednesday he registered a new page in his sports career. The Slovenian won, as he wanted in the Walloon Arrow, to cross out another territory from his increasingly endless list of conquests: the Ardennes. At 24 years old, pogi completed the Triptych to match, among others, Eddy Merckx, after his successes in Liège 2021 and the Amstel Gold Race last weekend, thanks to a change of pace on the final ascent to Muro de Huy that gave him the victory with great ease. Absolutely too much. Mattias Skjelmose and a fantastic Mikel Landa, who continues to extend his best start to the season ever, accompanied him on the podium.

The escape was formed practically from the start by Jacob Hindsgaul Madsen, Daryl Impey, Oliver Naesen, Soren Kragh Andersen, Johan Meens and Georg Zimmermann, Jetse Bol and, in Spanish representation, Raúl García Pierna. Both the Madrid and the Dutch, amortizing the respective invitations from Burgos BH and Kern Pharma to participate in the race. His maximum advantage stabilized below 4 minutes, since the UAE Team Emirates, which took full responsibility for fighter and I work in the squad, that’s how he wanted it.

“If I’m in a good position, I would say yes, we can get a good result.” said Pogacar in the mixed zone before taking the start. His smile gave him away… The hardness accumulated throughout the eleven climbs that the riders had to face, while the difference between breakaway and peloton decreased. Also the rivals of Pogi, given that David Gaudu gave up with 75 km to go. With Zimmermann and Kragh Andersen, the last survivors of the breakaway, under control, one question remained to be resolved: would Pogacar test it from afar or would he wait for the last pass over the Muro de Huy? It was the second…

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In the last 25 km there was an unexpected movement, a change in the established order. EF Education, thinking about the great form from Ben Healy, I decided to set the tone in the main group. In practice, without incident. He lacked fang, he exceeded respect. Zimmermann waved goodbye to the momentum of the peloton, while Battistela and Vervaeke joined Kragh Andersen’s cause. Vervaeke was the last to get the white flag, already on the first slopes of Huy. Pogacar, Bardet, Landa, Pidcock and Skjelmose took the lead in the final metres, where the Slovenian prodigy launched his blow. He had plenty of time to savor the triumph, with the feeling of not having squeezed the most, far from it. The job would be more than done for any mortal, but not for a ‘cannibal’ like him: there is still Liège (next Sunday). Show must go on.

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