Tadej Pogačar started the season in the best way possible, He already won in the second stage of the race in Valencia, he beat all competitors in the challenging Climb of “Cullera”, which was two kilometers long. He confidently overtook the evergreen Alejandro Valverde in the final sprint, the first favorite before the stage for many. The highlight of the stage was also the breakaway of five riders who gained a greater advantage and were caught by the peloton in the last part of the stage.
The finishing climb was best started by the Spanish cyclist of the team Caja Rujal, but he lacked power in the last kilometer. Than Tadej’s teammate Jan Polanc “jumped”, followed by Ineos rider Gianni Moscon. From the last turn to an even steeper 20% slope, the sprint began, in the first meters everything went right for Valverde and Teuns, but Tadej Pogačar came out of the third position with great power, speed and reliably won the sprint. With that victory, Tadej also took the lead in the overall standings and donned the yellow jersey of the leader in the race.
Then, after completing the stage, he summed up his thoughts:
“Yes, the first victory! First of all, I would like to thank the entire team, because their help was really phenomenal today. All the boys did a great job on their part. They accompanied me to the last climb nicely, but then it went full power. Jan (Polanc) tried to jump 800m before the finish….. and finale was realy great. We hope, of course, to keep the yellow jersey to the end. ”