Pogacar leads strong UAE Team Emirates squad at Tour de France

LIBOURNE FRANCE JULY 16 Tadej Pogaar of Slovenia and UAETeam Emirates yellow leader jersey during the 108th Tour de France 2021 Stage 19 a 207km stage from Mourenx to Libourne LeTour TDF2021 on July 16 2021 in Libourne France Photo by Michael SteeleGetty Images
Tadej Pogačar (UAE TEam Emirates) sitting behind his team at the 2021 Tour de France (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

UAE Team Emirates have confirmed their full line-up for the Tour de France, with a mix of climbers and rouleurs selected to back Tadej Pogačar as he targets a third consecutive victory. 

Pogačar will have the support of Rafal Majka, the USA’s Brandon McNulty, Marc Soler, Matteo Trentin, Vegard Stake Laengen, George Bennett and Mikkel Bjerg. 

“It’s already my third time coming to the Tour and I’m really excited about it.cWe’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,” Pogačar said as he prepared to travel to Copenhagen.

“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.”

UAE Team Emirates were hit by several COVID-19 cases at the Tour de Suisse and the Tour of Slovenian but Bjerg has recovered quickly and the team’s Tour de France squad remains perfectly balanced for the testing flat week and then the mountain stages.  

Trentin is an experienced road captain and skilled Classics rider, while Bennett will play a similar role on the mountains. Stake Laengen and Bjerg will provide more support in the hectic first week and the cobbled stage and then do the hard early work if Pogačar and UAE Team Emirates need to defend the yellow jersey. McNulty, Soler and Majka will provide vital support in the mountains, with McNulty able to shine in the overall classification if needed.    

Pogačar was often isolated during his first Tour de France victory in 2020 but the arrival of Soler and Bennett and McNulty’s development now means they are one of the strongest teams in the 2022 race, able to take on Jumbo-Visma and Ineos Grenadiers. 

“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,”  Team manager Joxean Matxin Fernandez said.

“Our ambition is to win the overall title with Pogačar 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 year 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.” 

UAE Team Emirates for the 2022 Tour de France

  • Tadej Pogačar
  • George Bennett
  • Mikkel Bjerg
  • Vegard Stake Laengen
  • Rafał Majka
  • Brandon McNulty
  • Marc Soler
  • Matteo Trentin

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