Slovenian Tadej Pojacar winner of the UAE Tour at Jebel Hafeet, February 26, 2022, Giuseppe Kakas
Flawless Tadej Pojacar: The Slovenian Tour de France winner won the UAE Tour after his success in the seventh and final stages, Saturday, at Jebel Hafeet.
In this reaching the top, Pogacar was, like last year, ahead of Britain’s Adam Yates, second in the stage, by one second, and in the final classification, by 22 seconds.
Bis-B: The Slovenian UAE national team won the UAE Tour like last year and garnished its success with two victories over two stages in the two finals only at the helm of the event, the first of the 2022 World Tour calendar.
At Jebel Hafeet, climbing 10.8 kilometers with a 6.6% rate, Pogacar recorded its third success at this location in Abu Dhabi bordering Oman.
“I know this climb by heart, it’s very difficult,” commented the double Tour de France winner. “Adam (Yates) was so strong. At one point I was really struggling, he put me in a red zone. When he attacked, I just tried to follow him and focus on the final sprint.”
Pogacar, whose team dominated the climb with New Zealander George Bennett and then Poland’s Rafal Majka, added ahead of Portugal’s Joao Almeida in the final.
Yates, the winner of the 2020 edition, went on the attack and got close to the last 3km without being able to grab his opponent. Behind the duo, Spaniard Belo Bilbao held out 5 seconds to finish third in the stage and the same place in the final classification.
“This was the first race of the year for me, it’s a good thing to start the season with a victory,” said Pogacar, who planned to race next Saturday in Italy’s Stradi Pianche before Tirreno-Adriatico and then Milan-Sanremo.
On the French side, Jeffrey Bouchard took ninth place in the stage at Stade Gevel Habit and entered the last top ten (eighth) ahead of Romain Bardet.
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