Train Like Tadej Pogacar: How to Win at the Tour de France

By Zach Nehr

How to Use MyWhoosh Workouts to Train Like Tadej Pogačar

Tadej Pogačar won Stage 4 of the Tour de France with a massive attack at the top of the Col du Galibier. This effort didn’t happen by accident—Pogačar has been preparing for the Tour for months, even years, with UAE Team Emirates.

Following his win at the Giro d’Italia, Pogačar traveled to altitude for 19 days ahead of the Tour. At Isola 2000, the same mountain featured in Stage 19 of this year’s Tour de France, Pogačar simultaneously rested and trained with the help of UAE Team Emirates.

During the training camp, Pogačar contracted COVID-19, which meant he needed to train indoors for some time. With the help of MyWhoosh, Pogačar kept his training right on track, and he arrived at the start of the Tour de France in fine form. In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at one of Tadej’s favorite workouts featured in the MyWhoosh app: Tadej’s Criss-Cross Tempo.

Tour de France Stage 4 (Pinerolo to Valloire)

The fourth stage of the Tour was a high-mountain stage that crossed the border from Italy to France. In just 140km, Pogačar and the rest of the peloton would climb over 3,900 meters, including the final climb of the Col du Galibier (22.9km at 5.1%). The final 9km of the Galibier were the hardest, featuring gradients of 9-10%.

From Kilometer Zero, it was clear that UAE Team Emirates was setting up an attack from Pogačar. The team pulled hard on the front of the peloton, keeping the day’s breakaway on a tight leash over the first few climbs. By the base of the Col du Galibier, the breakaway’s lead was under two minutes, and Pogačar was ready to go for the win.

(Image Souce : Jan de Meuleneir)

There was a big headwind for most of the Galibier, which meant that it was significantly easier to sit in the draft for most of the climb. However, the final few kilometers of the Galibier featured multiple switchbacks, which meant the peloton would ride into a tailwind, then a headwind, then a tailwind, then a headwind, and so on.

Pogačar has trained for this type of over/under on MyWhoosh. In the MyWhoosh Workout → UAE Team Emirates folder, you will find a workout called “Tadej’s Criss-Cross Tempo Long.” This session features 3×18-minute Criss-Cross Tempo intervals with alternating blocks of FTP and Tempo. Here is a closer look at the session.

3×18 minutes [3x (3 minutes at 100% FTP into 3 minutes at 80% FTP)] with ten minutes of recovery at 55% FTP.

[Tadej’s Criss-Cross Tempo Long workout on MyWhoosh]

This type of over/under effort is exactly how Pogačar rode the Col du Galibier on Stage 4 of the Tour de France: Tempo into the headwind (in his teammates’ drafts) and FTP into the tailwind. If you’re feeling good, you can even add an attack to the end of your interval session, just like Pogačar did on the Col du Galibier.

(Image Source : Lucca Bettini)

There is also a shorter version of Tadej’s Criss-Cross Tempo that is 34 minutes long in the MyWhoosh Workouts → UAE Team Emirates folder. This version is perfect for beginners or time-crunched riders.

You can find five additional ‘Train Like Tadej’ workouts in the MyWhoosh app. Designed in collaboration with Pogačar’s coach, Javier Sola, these sessions give you a taste of what it’s like to be a double Tour de France Champion.

Tadej’s workouts include 15-second sprints, 3-minute VO2 Max intervals, 15-minute Tempo blocks, pre-race sessions, and more. You can find them all in the MyWhoosh app via the Workouts → UAE Team Emirates folder.

[ Pogačar’s Strava from Stage 4 of the Tour de France]

About the Author

Zach is a freelance writer, professional cyclist, and the owner of ZNehr Coaching. He writes about everything related to bikes and endurance sports, from product reviews and advertorials to feature articles and pro data analytics. You can find Zach racing the Sunday Race Club on MyWhoosh every weekend.

Share this page