UAE Team Emirates directeur sportif Allan Peiper has warned Tadej Pogacar that he will be a marked man when he attempts to defend his Tour de France title.
Pogacar's fellow Slovenian Primoz Roglic was the heavy favourite to win the yellow jersey, only to be pipped by his compatriot in the final two stages, with the eventual GC margin less than a minute.
However, Peiper believes that nobody will underestimate him when it comes to the 2021 edition of the Tour.
“For sure, his rivals know who he is now, and it’s going to be harder because they won’t take him for granted,” Peiper told Cyclingnews.
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“They won’t let him ride away on the Peyresourde, although I don’t know if they let him ride away or they simply couldn’t go with him this year, but anyway it’s a course on which you really need to think about your team composition and whether you go in with more climbers or a couple more rouleurs.
"What will cut it on the crosswind stages? You’ve got to find the right composition and then make sure that everyone is on the same page. You’ve got to cover all your bases.
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"It’s a traditional route and they’ve put in two time trials this year, which they haven’t done for a long time and they’re two flat ones. With only three mountain-top finishes there are not too many opportunities for the pure climbers and there’s a lot of windy stages in the first week.
"There are also two intermediate stages between the Ventoux stage and the Pyrenees but those stages in the wind could really shake things up. It could mean a lot of fireworks on the mountain-top finishes for GC because when else are the GC riders going to attack?”