Tadej Pogačar to lead UAE’s Tour de France ‘Dream Team’ after Giro debut

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In an impressive display of team strength, UAE Team Emirates is set to support Tadej Pogačar in the Tour de France following his debut at the Giro d’Italia in 2024. The team is assembling a formidable lineup, including Juan Ayuso, João Almeida, and Adam Yates, to bolster its chances in the prestigious race.

Pogačar’s decision to compete in the Giro, announced on Sunday, has been a significant talking point in the cycling world. UAE Team Emirates, undeterred by this challenge, has planned to deploy its full might at the Tour de France. Pogačar, who has emerged as a key figure in the team, emphasised the collective objective: “The most important thing is that one of us wins the Tour, and I hope I can be there fighting for the top spot after racing the Giro.”

Adam Yates returns to the Tour following his third-place achievement in 2023, with Almeida and Ayuso poised to make their debut in the event. The strategy is clear: while Pogačar will be the leader, each rider will contribute towards the overall success of the team. Ayuso, expressing his enthusiasm, stated, “It’s a dream come true to race the Tour. I am glad the team is giving us this opportunity.”

Pogačar’s 2024 season marks a shift from his previous racing calendars, with a focus on different events. He has decided not to defend his title at the Tour de Flanders, choosing instead to participate in races such as Strade Bianche, Milan-San Remo, and the Volta a Catalunya. Potential appearances at the Amstel Gold Race and Liège-Bastogne-Liège are also on the cards.

“I always wanted to do the Giro. It’s one of my favourite races,” Pogačar remarked, confident in his ability to handle both the Giro and Tour within a single year. He downplayed the historical significance of accomplishing a Giro-Tour double, focusing instead on his broader aspiration to win all three Grand Tours.

In addition to the Grand Tours, Pogačar has his sights set on the Olympic Games and the World Championships. He stressed the importance of varying his race schedule, stating, “It’s not good for me to do the same thing every year. It’s a different preparation to race the Giro and Tour, so that’s why I am racing a different calendar. The most important thing is to keep things interesting and challenging.”

UAE Team Emirates has also confirmed that the Spanish rider Juan Ayuso will join Pogačar, Almeida, and Yates in the lineup for the Tour de France, starting in Florence on June 29, 2024. The team is rounded out by high-calibre domestiques like Marc Soler, Tim Wellens, and recent signees Nils Politt and Pavel Sivakov. This powerhouse team is set to challenge the dominance of Jumbo Visma, which has controlled the last two editions of the Tour with an iron grip.

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