Chris Froome, a four-time Tour de France winner, believes Tadej Pogačar has a “strong shot” at achieving the elusive Giro-Tour double this year. Froome, who came close to this feat in 2018, says, “If anyone can do it, it will be him.”

Froome’s near miss came after his 2018 Giro d’Italia victory, where he made a stunning comeback by overturning a 4:52 deficit in the third week, thanks to an 80-km solo win on stage 19. However, he couldn’t carry this momentum into the Tour de France, finishing third behind Geraint Thomas and Tom Dumoulin. This was Froome’s fourth Grand Tour in a row, having won the 2017 Tour and Vuelta a España before claiming the Giro in 2018.

Speaking to ITV before stage 2 of the Critérium du Dauphiné, Froome shared his experience: “I had come into the Tour de France and I could feel at the start that I was just missing that freshness, that edge that I would need. From being able to control the workload through the May preparation period.”

While Froome won’t be at the Tour’s start line this year, he believes Pogačar can carry his best form into the race, which begins in Italy on 1st July. Froome noticed a key difference in Pogačar’s approach to the Giro. “It seems that he had a very different Giro compared to the Giro that I had back in 2018 where he seemed as if was riding very much within himself. Even though he took a whole bunch of time from everyone else there,” Froome said. “It seemed as if he took that very much in his stride and I really believe that he’s got a strong shot at the double this year.”

Tadej Pogacar
(Photo credit: Getty)

There are other differences in preparation time. Froome had just over 40 days between the Giro and Tour, while Pogačar has only 33 days due to the Tour being moved up a week for the Paris Olympics. However, Pogačar’s main rival and two-time defending champion Jonas Vingegaard is returning from injury, making his first race day since April at the Florence Grand Départ.

Despite his achievements, Froome couldn’t join the seven men who have captured the Giro-Tour double: Fausto Coppi, Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, Stephen Roche, Miguel Indurain, and Marco Pantani. Pogačar, with his impressive form, might be the next to join this elite group, though the challenge of six weeks of Grand Tour racing remains daunting in today’s competitive landscape.