After the winter break, preparations and Covid's illness, Tadej Pogačar starts the season in his team's home race: the UAE Race, which is his main goal in the first part of the season.
The focus of the world cycling public was thus soon directed towards the first race of the World Series and the readiness of the number 1 rider on UCI rankings. It soon became clear that Tadej was again very well prepared for new challenges and that the infection did not leave any visible consequences.
The fourth edition of the UAE Tour began with two completely flat stages, that belongs to the sprinters, while the candidates for the overall victory mostly stretched their legs and gathered their first competitive kilometers of the new season.
The first moment of truth for team captains
Pogačar: "It was a really fast course, it was a really flying pace, you couldn't go much faster than that. On the way back it was raw power and I did my best. I did my best intensity ever, so I’m pretty happy. It was a good time."
Sovereign victory in the sprint finish at the top of Jabel Jais
Pogačar: “I always like to win, having succeeded makes this day beautiful for me and for the team. As a team we rode well, also trying to move with João and Rafal: the latter was the strongest climber of the group today.João and Rafal were also excellent in the final in launching me towards the sprint, the victory pays off all the work done in the past months, it’s great to start the season like this.Despite all the attacks that followed one another uphill, I saw that practically all the big names of the race remained in the leading group, so I checked that we reached the final with the compact group, since I knew it would not be possible to go solo I decided to wait for the sprint.Already in training, even after recovering from Covid-19, the sensations were very good, but in the race, everything can be different; the period of the illness was thankfully not so heavy for me. I had the support of the team, they helped me and gave me peace of mind: also, for this reason, today’s result is the result of the overall work of the whole team. Having a team like this gives you goosebumps.“