Tadej Pogačar Keeps Getting Flagged on Strava

cycling ita giro
Tadej Pogačar Keeps Getting Flagged on StravaLUCA BETTINI - Getty Images

On Sunday, for the queen stage of the 2024 Giro d’Italia, Tadej Pogačar of UAE Team Emirates not only took a solo win, but the Slovenian also doubled his lead in the general classification. After uploading the incredible Stage-15 ride to Strava, as one does, the twenty-five-year-old pro got flagged.

“Who TF flagged me,” the 2024 Giro d’Italia leader posted to his Strava account. He also added a few emojis to let everyone know he was having a laugh about it.

The stats on the day showed that Pogačar rode a distance of 220.96 km (137 miles) and an elevation gain of 5,531 meters (18,146 feet), completed in six hours nine minutes and 47 seconds for an average speed of 35.9 km/h (22.3 mph). That is, admittedly, pretty wild.

And then it happened again. On Wednesday, the day after Pogačar took his fifth win of the race, he got flagged for a second time. For this one, he posted, “Haters gonna flag.” He also took the KOM on the PASSO ROLLE da bivio Valles segment.

‘Flagging’ on Strava occurs when another user on the app highlights an activity as questionable. This commonly happens when someone clearly kept their activity going even though they were in a vehicle. It also happens if someone uploads an activity under the wrong mode, like a bike ride that’s listed as a run and is thus impossibly fast.

And to be fair, Pogačar does ride his bike at speeds that could be confused for a motor vehicle, but he still doesn’t appreciate his KOMs being taken away because he’s just so fast.

GCN reported that “the activity initially appeared without any KOMs, but Strava later cleared the flagging, and Pogačar’s KOMs were reinstated. The most prestigious being the full Passo di Foscagna climb, where he launched his stage-winning attack and took nearly two minutes out of the previous KOM.”

“‘It happens a lot,’ Pogačar said of the incident. ‘It’s a funny moment, but it’s good that people can see how fast we actually go on some of these iconic climbs.’”

Strava is advancing to move away from “flagging,” as they’re introducing more AI features to help better identify “irregular, improbable, or impossible activities.” The feature will be known as ‘AI-enabled Leaderboard Integrity,’ and will allow riders of all levels to “play fair,” even the ones who seem beyond human capability.

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