Pogacar puts faith in Team UAE line-up
Reigning champion Tadej Pogacar says he's got the right team in place to help him win back-to-back yellow jerseys after it was confirmed he would be supported by new signings Rafal Majka and Marc Hirschi for this year's Tour de France.
The 22-year-old became the first rider since Eddy Merckx in 1972 to win three jerseys at the Tour de France and he's 1/1000 to keep his maillot jaune, while he's 11/10 to remain King of the Mountains.
The Slovenian was able to win the polka dot jersey despite a lack of support in the mountains last year and the line-up has been changed to help him out on the climbs.
UAE Team Emirates signed Majka from Bora-Hansgrohe last winter, while they picked up Hirschi when DSM ended his contract and both men have been included in the eight-man squad, along with debutant Brandon McNulty, Davide Formolo, Rui Costa, Mikkel Bjerg and Vegard Stake Laengen.
I am confident in myself and my team, we can't wait for the challenge.Tadej Pogacar
Unlike in 2020 when the team carried Alexander Kristoff, there is no specialised sprinter in the party as they look to put the right pieces entirely with a viewing to giving Pogacar the best chance of winning back-to-back general classification titles.
Pogacar has looked strong so far this year, picking up wins in the Tour of Slovenia, UAE Tour, Tirreno-Adriatico and Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
Pogacar feels his preparations have gone well and is excited to get the defence of his yellow jersey underway.
"My year so far has gone really well and I'm really looking forward to starting this Tour with good preparation and good condition," Pogacar said. "I am confident in myself and my team, we can't wait for the challenge."