Tadej Pogacar pulls out of Liège-Bastogne-Liège

Tadej Pogacar stayed protected early on in the Tour of Flanders
After a successful Classics season, Pogačar has pulled out of Liège-Bastogne-Liège (Image credit: SprintCyclingAgency©2022)

A major favourite at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, reigning champion Tadej Pogačar announced this morning that he would no longer be racing tomorrow, with Brandon McNulty set to replace him in UAE Team Emirates’s line-up.

In a Twitter post, he explained, “Sadly I won't be at the start of [Liège-Bastogne-Liège] tomorrow.”

“It's been a tough few days but I'd like to thank everybody for their understanding,” Pogacar added. “A special thank you to [UAE Team Emirates]  & especially to Mauro Gianetti and Team President Matar for their support in this situation 

UAE Team Emirates has announced that Brandon McNulty would replace Pogačar in the team’s line up for La Doyenne.

On Thursday, Pogačar’s partner and fiancée Urška Žigart revealed on social media that her mother had passed away, and Pogacar is understood to have travelled to Slovenia to be with her during this time.

“Life is not fair sometimes. It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I share with you this news today. My mom was my best friend and the most important person in my life,” the Slovenian pro cyclist said on Instagram.

Pogačar came into the race as a major favourite, having won last year’s edition and having an exceptional Classics season under his belt - putting seven victories to his name and top-five placings at both Milan-San Remo and the Tour of Flanders.

In Pogačar’s absence, Marc Hirschi will likely lead the team, having finished in sixth place at last year’s race. He had already being given the green light to ride as a 'free electron' and not solely in support of Pogačar.

Along with Hirschi and McNulty, UAE Team Emirates' strong line-up is completed by Jan Polanc, George Bennett, Vegard Stake Laengen, Diego Ulissi, and Marc Soler.

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Peter Stuart

Peter Stuart has been editor of Cyclingnews since March 2022, overseeing editorial output across all of Cyclingnews' digital touchpoints.

Before joining Cyclingnews, Peter was the digital editor of Rouleur magazine. Starting life as a freelance feature writer, with bylines in The Times and The Telegraph, he first entered cycling journalism in 2012, joining Cyclist magazine as staff writer. Peter has a background as an international rower, representing Great Britain at Under-23 level and at the Junior Rowing World Championships.