The Tour de France–Giro double is not the only one that Tadej Pogačar will want to tackle next year. The Slovenian cyclist has included the Grands Prix of Quebec and Montreal on his 2024 program, he announced on Monday, on the sidelines of a training camp for his team UAE Team Emirates in Spain.

Winner in 2022 in his only presence on Mount Royal, Pogačar withdrew at the last minute last September, preferring to preserve his energies for the Italian classics after a Tour de France (2nd for the second year in a row) and the Championships of the world (bronze medal).

Such a package is obviously still possible next year. Calendar changes are the lot of every cyclist, never immune to a drop in form, an injury or other types of unforeseen events. September 13 and 15, the dates of the two Canadian classics, are still very far away, especially since Pogačar is also planning on the Paris Olympic Games (August 3), even if he judges that the course “is not perfect » for him and that he does not guarantee his participation.

This would nevertheless leave him six weeks before setting down the wheels in the city of Bruno Marchand, where he was ranked 24th in September 2022. This period is more than sufficient to redo a complete training cycle ahead of the only WorldTour events presented in Americas.

As in the past, the Quebec and Montreal GPs return to their ideal position two weeks before the World Championships, which will take place in Zurich from September 22 to 29. Pogačar makes this his main objective in 2024, hence the importance of aligning with Quebec just before.

Last year, the first “super” Worlds, bringing together seven disciplines, were held in Scotland in August, which probably contributed to the absence of some headliners in Quebec. The Slovenian himself suffered a lot at the end of a duel to end with the Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel and the Belgian Wout van Aert, respectively gold and silver medalists in Glasgow.

Another element that militates in favor of the presence of “Pogi” among the potholes and orange cones of the metropolis: he crossed the Italian classics and semi-classics of autumn from his diary, with the exception of the Tour of Lombardy, a monument he will seek to win for the fourth time in a row on October 12.

A courier of Pogačar’s caliber does not set his calendar at random. With the sports management of his training, his coach and probably his agent, he targets objectives that excite him and which are positioned logically in the programming of his training, which includes the essential altitude courses. The double Tour de France champion (2020 and 2021) is an extraordinary rider, with the ability to shine all year round and on all terrains, as evidenced by his triumph at the Tour of Flanders, his favorite event. which he regretfully puts aside in 2024.

The idea is “not to repeat the same races every year, to change the calendar a little, life… create new challenges”, Pogačar explained to some media on Monday, as reported by former Canadian cyclist Kirsten Frattini, journalist for cyclingnews. com.

In short, nothing is set in stone, but it is not forbidden to dream of seeing the most spectacular rider in the world arrive in September 2024. In this dead period for road cycling, the speculation game is going well train among amateurs, who question Pogačar’s ability to achieve the Giro–Tour de France double, 25 years after Marco Pantani.

Already the holder of two yellow tunics (2020 and 2021), the 25-year-old athlete considers himself ready to take a bet that Chris Froome and Alberto Contador are the last to have lost.

“Tadej is 25 years old, he needed a new challenge and he is ready to take it on,” assured his sports manager Joxean Fernandez Matxin to Agence France-Presse. It’s ambitious, but if anyone can do it, it’s him. He’s the greatest runner I’ve seen in my entire career. He is special. »

Pogačar will make his debut at the Tour of Italy, an event in which he has been planning since his first pedal strokes in neighboring Slovenia.

“I always dreamed of it, but with my victories on the Tour, I really never had the time,” he explained in comments published in L’Équipe. I’m not very young anymore, I can now do both. The time has come to take on this new challenge in my career. »

Why not also aim for the Quebec–Montreal double, achieved by Australians Simon Gerrans (2014) and Michael Matthews (2018)?