Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates): “The perfect race”
April 19 th 2023 - 17:32
It was the perfect race from our point of view. I must say a big ‘thank you’ to my teammates. It is a huge boost for me when they do such an amazing job like they did today. I had to finish it off – otherwise, all that work would have amounted to nothing.
We obviously needed to pull from the beginning. Nobody needed to give us a hand – maybe Ineos. My guys were a bit tired in the end, but anyway we made it as planned. It helped me that everybody was looking at me today. Most of the bunch was looking at my back and that gave us space to move around. With 30 kilometres to go, the race got really nervous and the team did a great job at keeping me at the front. In one particular moment I nearly crashed.
I left it all on the climb. It was super hard. This is a spectacular finish. Tiny mistakes can cost a lot in the Mur de Huy. I was on a similar shape last year, yet I didn’t make the top10. One wrong move and you pay it with your legs. If you are full of lactate in the steep part, you can’t do your best in the final. You need to save as much as possible in the steep part.
You never get bored from crossing the finish line in first place. I am really enjoying my great shape at the moment, while I can. To win out of a group of 170 riders feels amazing. Every race has a story and I can be super happy that I can win all these races. I don’t know stats so well - I just do my thing.
It would be amazing to win all three Ardennes classics, but I’d say Sunday’s race in Liège is the biggest one and is going to be really tough. My team is motivated and super strong, so we will do the best we can… and we will see what the outcome is.