Cycling.  Tadej Pogacar almost starts his season at home.  sports

Cycling. Tadej Pogacar almost starts his season at home. sports

Season opener for Tadej Pogacar. The Slovenian, a two-time Tour de France winner, lines up on Sunday 20 February for the UAE Tour, an event he won last year in the country that sponsors his cycling team.

On the set starting line in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, Pogacar finds other riders starting their season as well. Most notable among them are Britain’s Adam Yates and Portugal’s Joao Almeida, who finished behind him on the podium last year, Dutchman Tom Dumoulin and France’s Romain Bardet, the starter of the UAE event.

“The past few months have passed almost perfectly”

A year later, Almeida joined the UAE’s Pojacar team with the next Giro on the horizon, as the Slovenian planned to focus first on the Tour de France. But both are in the same formation who also offers another recruit of his choice, New Zealander George Bennett, who has come to support Pogacar in the mountains.

“The past few months have gone almost perfectly. I had a small setback a few weeks ago. (at the end of January) With Covid-19 But luckily it didn’t interfere too much with my preparations,” The Slovenian who has identified declares that he has trained a lot recently with Almeida.

“Pogacar will be our leader”, Team Principal Machin Fernandez confirms ahead of this race that the double Tour winner has become a regular host. After being defeated in 2020 by Adam Yates, he avenged last year by winning the Jebel Hafeet stage, one of two summits.

An event that gives runners center stage

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Organizers (RCS) programmed four stages for the runners who came in droves (Cavendish, S Bennett, Viviani, Demarie, Groenwegen, Philipsen, Decker, Ackermann) as well as the nine-kilometer trial. On Tuesday, February 22nd, the Italian world champion in discipline Filippo Ganna will approach the challenge of Swiss Stefan Bisiger.

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But the ranking will be determined above all by two ends at the summit, the long climb of Jebel Jais on Wednesday (21.5 km at 5.4%, at 1,490 m) and Jebel Hafeet (10.6 km at 6.8%) thereafter. Saturday, to conclude, in the mountains adjacent to Oman.

Left Bardet in the unknown, Russian Alexander Vlasov, one of the men to follow this week after his latest victory on the Valencia Community Tour, finds ground he partly knows. In 2018, Anonymous took part in the Abu Dhabi Tour, a year before the race merged with the Dubai Tour and extended to the neighboring emirates.

stages

Sunday: 1Dr Madinat Zayed – Madinat Zayed stage 185 km

Monday: 2And the Al Hudayriat Island Stage – Abu Dhabi Breakwater 173 km

Tuesday: 3And the Ajman – Ajman stage 9 kilometers (individual trial)

Wednesday: 4And the Fujairah Fort – Jebel Jais stage 181 km

Thursday: 5And the Ras Al Khaimah Corniche Stage – Al Marjan Island, 182 km

Friday: 6And the Phase Expo 2020 Dubai – Expo 2020 Dubai, 180 km

Saturday: 7And the Al Ain – Jebel Hafeet stage 148 km

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