PARIS — Slovenian Tadej Pogacar said his wrist may not recover fully in time for next month’s Tour de France and he could race with a brace as he looks to win cycling’s most prestigious crown for a third time. Pogacar, 24, fractured his wrist in a crash during the Liege-Bastogne-Liege one-day race in April and underwent surgery to treat a scaphoid fracture. The UAE Team Emirates’ medical director said at the time his recovery would take six weeks. “Luckily it’s not a huge setback; it’s nothing to do with the legs or head. I could train almost normally, do good hours,” Pogacar said. “I pushed the team and tried to go on the bike, but I knew that I couldn’t put too much pressure on the scaphoid,” Pogacar said according to Reuters. “Obviously, I’m riding with a plastic cast that I can take off and on. I have a few different casts — one for normal life, one for the bike and then one for when I’m almost at the end for a bit of support. I’m taking care every day. “Hopefully I will be 100 per cent, maybe the wrist will not be at 100 per cent but I think the legs can be because you don’t need a wrist to train legs. “We’ll see if we can start to put more pressure on the hand. For the Tour, maybe I’ll still need some soft brace around the wrist, just for a bit of support. I hope that I get the mobility to get out of the saddle and for sprinting before the Tour,” he added. Pogacar won the Tour in 2020 and 2021 but failed to complete a hat-trick of wins last year when he was beaten by Jonas Vingegaard. Pogacar is training in the Sierra Nevada mountains and will head into the July 1-23 Tour de France with just two days of racing at the Slovenian National Championships, opting not to defend his Tour of Slovenia title later this month. Elsewhere, defending Tour de France champion Jonas Vingegaard believes he is under less pressure to win the French Grand Tour again in 2023. Vingegaard put an end to Pogacar’s stranglehold over the Tour in 2022 and remains confident he can repeat the trick next month. Jumbo-Visma’s designated leader is currently in France preparing for the Criterium du Dauphine but has split his time scouting several stages to come at La Grande Boucle, including the Puy de Dome on Stage 9. “A lot of things can happen, and I’ll have to be at my best level, but I think I can do it.” “The feeling I have now is one of less pressure, now (that) I’ve won it once,” he added. “Even if I never win it again and I retire in 10 years, I can still say I’ve won it and be proud of my career.” Remco Evenepoel, elsewhere, is preparing to return to racing at the Tour de Suisse, which starts on June 11. The Belgian has fully recovered from the virus which saw him abandon the Giro from the race lead after nine days of racing, and his first race back will be in Switzerland, where he won the closing time trial last summer. Evenepoel’s June plans will see him take on the eight-day Tour de Suisse, which includes a time trial at either end of the race, before heading home to defend his Belgian time trial title in Herzele on June 22. He’ll then tackle the road race in Izegem three days later before joining his Soudal-Quickstep teammates at a two-week altitude training camp in Val di Fassa in the Italian Dolomites, his team confirmed.