UAE Team Emirates rider Tadej Pogacar. Image Credit: Supplied

The first race of the season for Tadej Pogacar saw the same result of his last appearance on the roads in 2022 (Il Lombardia): victory.

The Slovenian from UAE Team Emirates has won the Clasica Jaen Paraiso Interior, from Ubeda and arrival in Baeza after 178,9 km, with 42 km of gravel roads.

Main bunch

When there were less than 44 km to go and the race was led by Sergio Samitier (Movistar) with 1’40” on the main bunch, Pogacar attacked for the first time, causing the reaction from 7 riders, amongst whom there were two other riders from the Emirati team, namely Marc Hirschi and Tim Wellens.

Just hundreds meters later, the Slovenian attacked once again and this time no one could follow him. The captain from UAE Team Emirates bridged over the gap to Samitier, forming a leading duo after the end of the fourth sector of gravel roads.

On the fifth sector, Samitier could not keep the pace of Pogačar, who became the solitary leader of the race with 33 km to go and two gravel road sectors, that did not worry the Slovenian rider, well backed in the first chasing group by team mates Hirschi and Wellens.

Gravel road

With 1’40” of advantage in the approach of the final sector of gravel road, Pogacar had no problem in changing the bike at 8,1 km to go because of a flat rear tyre and in resuming his winning path to the arrival for a solo victory with 58” of advantage on Ben Turner (2nd, Ineos Grenadiers) and Tim Wellens (3rd). The amazing day of the Emirati team was completed by the 4th place by Marc Hirschi 8+1’19”).

Pogacar said, “It was, in the end, perfect teamwork, and we had a really good gameplan in the end, I managed to stay alone until the finish which gives me a big boost for the start of the season. It was the plan to attack there. The team put us in a perfect position. It was just as we planned. It was perfect.”


1. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 4h36’37”

2. Ben Turner (Ineos Grenadiers) +58”

3. Tim Wellens (UAE Team Emirates) s.t.

4. Marc Hirschi (UAE Team Emirates) +1’19”