Pogacar targets hat-trick as UAE Team Emirates name squad for Tour de France

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Tadej Pogacar celebrates on the podium after the last stage of the Tour de France in Paris on Sunday.File/AP

Gulf Today Report

UAE Team Emirates have unveiled the team heading into the Tour de France, which gets underway on Friday.

The team heads into the 21 stages led by the winner of the previous two editions of the race, Tadej Pogacar, with a mix of climbers and flat-terrain experts to support the Slovenian.

The 23-year-old will face challenges along the 3328km course which begins in Copenhagen with a 13km time-trial before approaching the Alps via a cobbled stage through Arenberg and onto the Pyrenees before the surviving riders make it to the Champs Elysees in Paris for the ceremonial finish.

Team Manager Joxean Matxin Fernandez (Spa) will lead the squad alongside Sports Directors Andrej Hauptman (Slo), Simone Pedrazzini (Swi) and Marco Marcato (Ita). The team is comprised of 8 riders:

Pogacar: ”It’s already my third time coming to the Tour and I’m really excited about it. We’ve worked really hard all year as a team to prepare for this and we hope we can give everyone watching 3 weeks of exciting racing.

“This year so far has been a positive one for the team and we are hoping to continue that here at the Tour. We know it won’t be easy and we’ll have many challenges but that is part of the magic of the Tour.”

Joxean Matxin Fernandez (Team Manager) : “Every year the challenge to win the Tour gets harder, all we can do is prepare as best we can and trust our team to produce their best as a group.

“Our ambition is to win the overall title with Pogacar and we have built a strong team around him.

“Last year we had a great group and the base of the team is similar to last years with a few strong additions in key areas.

“We have studied the route and it’s far from an easy parcours. Also the level of our competitors is really high, but we are confident and know that a big result is well within the capabilities of Tadej and the team.”

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