Dubai: Tadej Pogacar may be only 23, but with two Tour de France titles and as many UAE Tour crowns with the Team UAE Emirates jersey on, he has done the country proud - a fact recognised when he was presented with his golden visa on Saturday.
The young champion, along with his Team Principal Mauro Gianetti, was presented the visas ceremonially by Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan and Aref Al Awani, Secretary General of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, at the podium at Jebel Hafeet.
. “I am delighted to have won the UAE Tour and to have conquered the finish line of Jebel Hafeet for the third time. It is a climb that suits my characteristics well, with steep slopes and a technical final stretch,’’ he told the Team UAE Emirates media later.
‘‘In the final, with Almeida in the leading group, we set ourselves the goal of winning the stage, so João also tried to take advantage of his good condition to attack and get the win. However, Yates was on a great day and yolk him back: at that point, I concentrated on following him and winning the sprint.
‘‘Winning the UAE Tour is very important for our team, it’s fantastic to be able to celebrate with our sponsors: I thank everyone for the great contribution made this week,’’ he added.