It was not a coincidence not an idea that arose, as often happens, in the previous meeting that takes place in the team bus before starting a stage. Possibly the tactic that killed Tadej Pogacar in the Tour on July 13, 2022, on the way to the top of Granon, was the most studied and meticulously prepared in the history of cycling and where not only two-wheel specialists were consulted but technicians from other sports, such as the soccer coach Erik ten Hagthen on the Ajax bench and now on the Manchester United bench.
The Dutch Jumbo team had failed in their attempt to win the Tours of 2020 and 2021, a success that Pogacar won on both occasions. In 2020, the ‘Slovenia miner’ as disparagingly cataloged Tom Dumoulin Pogacar stole the victory in the Planche des Belles Filles time trial, after Primoz Roglic failed, and last year when Jonas Vingegaard was still too young to wear yellow and take the reins of the Jumbo after the fall of Roglic.
USthe Dutch public broadcaster, revealed last week the Jumbo’s perfect plan to bring down Pogacar in the Alps, a project that began six months before and in which he participated Have a Hag. Merijn ZeemannJumbo technician, called Have a Hag and met in Amsterdam. “We wanted to know how strategies were prepared in other sports” and, specifically, to Have a Hag He was asked, and he explained, how he stipulated his working method and, above all, he answered the key question: “before making your plan for a match, what are you basing it on?”
After listening to Have a Hag They started collecting data. Zeemann He told his country’s television that he brought together all the sports directors of the team and then they asked their stars what would be the perfect plan for them to win the Tour. “If a football coach uses various tactics and various players, depending on the game, we could do the same to arrive in yellow to Paris.” And if in 2020 the chosen one for the challenge had been Roglicthe perfect plan of the Jumbo designated Vingegaard as the chosen one to take the main prize of the French round.
And it was in spring when Pogacar made the first mistake. In a podcast he explained his weaknesses as a cyclist and above all that he lost a lot of energy on long climbs. He should never have told it because the “for the tape”, as a famous radio announcer said years ago, began to be heard in the offices of the Den Bosch Jumbo.
The conclusion: Pogacar he was invincible on short, explosive climbs like La Superplanche des Belles Filles or Peyragudes, where in both cases he beat Vingegaard in the sprint. But not so in stages with long ascents and chained ports. And plan A (Granon), plan B (Alpe d’Huez) and plan C (Hautacam) were designed. Plan B was not necessary to use and plan C arrived when the Tour was already in the bag of Vingegaard.
Yes, in football, as he explained have hag, the ability of a player was used more at a given moment, they wanted to do the same in the cycling field and that was where the figure of Roglic entered, lost in the general and although sore from the fall suffered on the cobblestones, with enough class to drive your countryman Pogacar to a dead end in the Alps. In the GalibierRoglic attacked him and Vingegaard he tried to finish it off… as many as seven times. She resisted and responded Pogacar at a stage to frame. But it was there that she began to lose that energy that turned into a drama when she forgot to eat and hydrate in the Granon to deliver a yellow jersey to Vingegaard that he could never get back.