Cycling star Pogačar defends UAE Tour title

Dubai – Slovenian cycling star Tadej Pogačar, who rides for UAE Team Emirates, won the 2022 UAE Tour on Saturday after winning the race’s final stage to defend his title from 2021 and start the new season with a bang.

This is Pogačar’s second UAE Tour win in addition to two white jerseys for the best young rider in 2020 and 2021.

He started off the season in the best possible way, with a win, after beating Brit Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers) in the seventh and final stage of the UAE Tour at the top of Jebel Hafeet in what seemed like a flashback to last year’s race.

Nearing the end of the 10.9km tough climb, Pogačar had the final burst of speed to seal the fourth UAE stage win this year and overall honours.

Yates finished second and Spain’s Pello Bilbao (Bahrain-Victorious) third. Another Slovenian competing in the race, Luka Mezgec (BikeExchange-Jayco), ranked 89th.

This is Pogačar’s 33rd win in his career, and the ninth in multi-day races.

“This is the first race of the World Tour, but one of the most important for our team. I’m very proud of everything we have achieved. Thanks go to my teammates and everyone in the team for their support. Everyone has been outstanding this week,” Pogačar said after the victory.

The 23-year-old plans to achieve a Tour de France hat-trick this season as he would like to win the race for the third time in a row.