Pogačar and Bernal are among a wave of young riders - including Remco Evenepoel - tasting success in their early years as professionals and doing away with the notion that the early 20s are about serving a sort of apprenticeship. The pair are set to clash at this year’s Tour de France and could forge a rivalry over the next decade or so. Team Ineos director Nicolas Portal believes the impact being made by young riders is in part due to the wealth of data at their disposal, negating the 'trial-and-error' process of adaptation to the professional ranks.
- "I'm not going to compare Egan with Pogačar because that would be disrespectful to them both," Portal said. "The only thing you can say is 'fuck, those guys are flying, and they’re kids.'"
- The Slovenian, who won three stages and finished third overall at the Vuelta a España in his first season, started his second in style by winning the Valenciana title at what Portal saw as a canter.
- "You could see his shape, his back, how he was moving on the bike, and you could feel he was not going full gas, that if there were three or four guys there to fight with him he could have found this extra gear," Portal said of the stage 4 victory.
"It was like at the Vuelta – when he went, he just did his own thing, like 'I go guys'. For sure, this kid is unbelievably strong, and he seems to be a nice guy, too."
Cycling News, Portal: Young riders no longer have to learn from mistakes, Feb. 10, 2020.
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