• Tadej Pogacar of UAE-Team Emirates wins Stage 18 of the 2021 Tour de France atop Luz Ardiden (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
International Cycling Union (UCI) president David Lappartient talked down suspicions around the performance of Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) at this year's Tour de France, insisting there's no cause to doubt the Slovenian.
By
SBS Cycling Central

21 Jul - 12:17 PM 

Pogačar took the second of back-to-back yellow jerseys on the Champs-Elysees on Monday (AEST) by a margin of over five minutes on second-placed Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) in a dominant display, winning three stages in the process to cement himself at the top of the sport.

The 22-year-old remained consistently strong as others struggled throughout the three-week race, but Lappartient attempted to quieten concerns around the legitimacy of his ride after another Tour dogged by discussions of potential fraud and doping, highlighted by a police raid of team Bahrain-Victorious after Stage 17.

Pogačar wins second Tour de France title
It was the completion of an expected win for Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) on the final stage of the Tour de France, and a polite but passionate sign-off from the top step of the podium by the young Slovenian.
Bahrain Victorious raided in doping investigation by French police
Bahrain Victorious is at the centre of an investigation into possible doping allegations with French police raiding the WorldTour team’s hotel ahead of Stage 18 of the Tour de France.

“I have the pictures of Pogacar’s bike and everything is clean, regarding the results of the X-ray machine,” he told The Guardian.
 
“As UCI president I trust the international [anti-doping] testing agency in Lausanne.
 
“The only limit is the capacity of the lab themselves to detect – in all sports – some substances. We have a very solid and robust testing programme in cycling for both anti-doping and technological fraud and there is no reason to have doubts. However, zero risk doesn’t exist.”
 
Responding to a question during the Tour regarding the discussion around him, Pogačar acknowledged the sport's unfortunate past generated such discussion but insisted he was participating in thorough testing to provide sufficient evidence to prove the doubters wrong.
 
“They are uncomfortable questions because the history of cycling was really bad," he said.
"I totally understand why there are all of these questions. I didn’t prepare anything for those kind of questions.
 
“I just like to ride my bike and what comes with it comes with it, I’ll deal with it. I’m a good kid with a good education, I’m not one to take shortcuts.
 
“We have many [doping] controls to prove them wrong. For example, I had three controls in one day – two before the stage and one after. So I think that gives enough weight to prove them wrong.”