Merckx and the Tour de Pogacar: "Jumbo ran stupidly"

Speaking to L'Équipe, 'El Caníbal' praised Pogacar's tactics and criticized the Jumbo for not being more ambitious to achieve more difference before the final time.


Eddy Merckx wanted to give his opinion on the victory of Tadej Pogacar in the Tour de France 2020 after snatching the yellow jersey from Primoz Roglic in the final time of La Planche des Belles Filles.

In statements to the newspaper L'Équipe Merckx, he stated that he did not feel surprised by what happened in the time trial on Saturday. "I was not surprised by what happened in the La Planche des Belles Filles chrono. Ask my wife and those around me. I had seen for days that Roglic's 50 seconds were not enough to ensure victory. I could see Pogacar from a mile and I said that the only solution is for him to wait for the time trial, because he had time in his hands "

'El Caníbal 'praised Pogacar's running style and his tactic of saving strength for the clock. "He's only 21 years old and cooler than Roglic. We could see him in the last few days. He knew he didn't need to attack because the Jumbo was stronger. He just had to go unnoticed before the clock"

Merckx was also highly critical of the Jumbo-Visma's strategy in the final week of the Tour. "Jumbo-Visma ran stupid. For the last few weeks they did it all, they didn't let anything happen, but they forgot they had this kid 57 seconds away. What a mistake! They fell into their own trap, they went to defeat. Of course Pogacar was not going to attack them, since he could not release them in the mountains. But they should have tried to release him much earlier and open more space with him. It is a good lesson in cycling. Jumbo-Visma may have forgotten the images of the Tour 2019 ".

The Belgian also discussed the new generation of cycling with Evenepoel, who he says he has yet to show on a grand tour, Pogacar and Bernal. "Let's not get ahead of Remco, he hasn't shown us anything yet. He talks a lot but I'm looking forward to seeing him. I'm not sure that Pogacar's victory is good news for him, it has set the bar very high for him. Bernal hasn't been good either. this year, we will have to see how he is when he returns to see if he can be a rival to Pogacar in the next few years. "

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