Pogačar to race Vuelta a España, setting up dream battle

Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) is set to ride the Vuelta a España, setting up a potential dream match-up with the likes of Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma), Adam Yates and Egan Bernal (both INEOS Grenadiers).

La Vuelta a España will be shown live on SBS VICELAND from August 14 to September 5, with live stages, highlights and updates available on SBS OnDemand and the Cycling Central website.

Speaking to Spanish newspaper AS, UAE general manager Joxean Fernández Matxin said that Tadej Pogačar will head to the Vuelta, but that the emphasis for present is winning the Tour de France, with the Slovenian on course to win back-to-back titles.

"Yes, the Vuelta is on Tadej’s programme, although right now we’re focused on the Tour and achieving a second title with him. I hope he doesn’t finish the Tour very tired so he can go there to do well," said Matxin.

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"We need to control the race and avoid mishaps or crashes, and anything beyond the sporting side. We have the calmness that comes with work well done and we have a considerable margin with respect to our rivals."



Pogačar's support riders have been consistent on the mountains stages, and Matxin was confident that level of support for the team leader would continue, having seen the likes of Rafal Majka outlast a number of Pogacar’s rivals on Stage 11.

"Yes, you only have to look at the TV these last days," said Matxin. "On the Alpine stages, of the last 14 riders, we had four. The squad is solid and we have implicit trust in Tadej, Tadej in his teammates, and Tadej in Tadej.

"Tadej is possibly at a very similar level to last year. However, the crashes and nerves from the start, which didn’t hamper him, ended up getting rid of some big names like Roglic and Thomas, and opening a big gap over the other favourites."

If Pogačar does continue to the Vuelta, he'll likely face an even stronger group of contenders than he matches up against currently at the Tour. Roglič is the only man to beat Pogačar in a stage race this year, beating his younger compatriot at the Tour of the Basque Country. 

Adam Yates pushed Pogačar close at the UAE Tour and should likely be lining up with the team's Tour leader Richard Carapaz as well as Giro d'Italia winner Egan Bernal. The British rider will have been preparing for the race as his only focus for the three-week races, but it seems most likely that INEOS Grenadiers will take a similar multi-pronged focus to what they had hoped to do at the Tour de France.

La Vuelta a España will be shown live on SBS VICELAND from August 14 to September 5, with live stages, highlights and updates available on SBS OnDemand and the Cycling Central website.


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3 min read
Published 8 July 2021 at 10:58pm
By SBS Cycling Central
Source: SBS