UAE Team Emirates' Tadej Pogacar is second in the Tour De France
UAE Team Emirates' Tadej Pogacar Image Credit: AFP

Fresh from winning the UAE Tour in style, UAE Team Emirates superstar cyclist Tadej Pogacar is back in Europe and on the hunt for more titles to go with his 2020 Tour de France crown.

The Slovenian makes his professional bow in Italian stage racing this week in the Tirreno-Adriatico, and he revealed that he is targeting the Giro d’Italia — one of the three Grand Tours along with Le Tour and Vuelta d’Espana — in 2022.

“This year I’ll do the Tour de France, Olympics and probably the Vuelta, so maybe next year it’ll be finally time for the Giro,” Pogacar said in a pre-race Zoom chat. “I’ve only ever done stage races at U23 and Juniors previously here,” he added, referring to the Giro di Lunigiana and Giro di Friuli stage races as an amateur. I love racing here though, the food is super-good, and the fans are also fantastic.”

With competition from Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) this week, Pogacar said he always goes for victory, and Tirreno-Adriatico will be no different.

“We will see what happens,” he said. “I’m coming here in good shape, I just hope for some solid results and will try for the win. We’ve got a great quality team here too.”

Pogacar recently signed a contract extension with UAE Team Emirates to 2026 — something unheard of in cycling circles.

“It is something new, sure,” Pogacar explained. “It is long but it is good for me as I feel comfortable here. I trust in the team and they trust in me. So having a long contract means I don’t have added stress and I can just concentrate on racing.”