One two three four and five. Tadej Pogacar has run out of fingers on his right hand counting his victories in his first Giro. The Slovenian, dressed in pink, entered the finish line with his hand extended to celebrate his fifth stage victory (in 16 days) at the finish line of Mount Pana. In the next one (does anyone doubt that there will be one?) you run the risk of discounting yourself. It is almost the greatest danger that the leader faces in the last week of the Giro, which has become a particular party for the UAE cyclist.

While everyone behind him was twisting on the slopes of more than 10%, Pogacar did not even need to stand up to abandon them for another day, to win in another high finish. Sitting on the bicycle, without removing the scarf from around his neck, almost as if he were training, without wincing from pain or effort, the pink jersey turns ordinary feats into extraordinary ones.

The Slovenian does not forgive his rivals or share the cake. Everything for him. Sometimes they serve the prize on a platter, as Movistar did the day the cold, snow and rain arrived at the Giro. The work of the telephone team left the breakaway within reach in a 128 km stage marked by raincoats, arm warmers and leg warmers. And no one has more cartridges in their legs than Pogacar, who started with 1.5 km left and was unstoppable.

With Pogacar, what difference does it make if you can’t climb the Stelvio or the Umbrail Pass, which should have been the Cima Coppi of this edition. They are difficult loves in May, like Gavia or Giau. However, the Emirates boss never fails. He is so over the top that he even gives away jerseys. He is already 15. In the podium area, he greets Pellizzari and takes off his jersey to give it as a souvenir to the young Italian from Bardiani, whom he has passed with 700 meters to go. He is so superior that he almost chooses who goes in second.

“I thought Pellizzari was going to win but in the end I caught him. I am happy that he came second,” he says of the 20-year-old climber. “He sent me a photo that we took in 2019. I was very young and he was younger. Then we saw each other again at the Strade Bianche,” reveals Pogacar. So, the Slovenian was a newcomer, a rising star. Now, with two Tours, another two second places in Paris and on the way to his first Giro, he is already the genius of world cycling, who at 25 years old already has 75 victories as a professional, more than Gimondi, Freire or Poulidor in their entire career.

If Pogacar seems to choose his sparring partners, in Livigno it was Nairo Quintana’s turn, this time Pellizzari, the road is in charge of discerning who will accompany him on the podium in Rome. After the rest day, Geraint Thomas (Ineos) suffered and lost the second step. Daniel Felipe Martínez (Bora), third at the finish line, was the one who performed the best, even more reliable than Arensman who is going further, unlike his Welsh teammate.