UAE Team Emirates have named their 8-man team for the pinnacle of the world cycling calendar, the Tour de France, which sets off from Nice on August 29 before arriving in Paris on 20 September.
After a very promising start to the season, in which the team has claimed 18 victories, the squad will be hopeful of building on that success.
The team will call on the experience of Fabio Aru who will go into the race as co-leader along with Tadej Pogačar who will make his Tour de France debut. Aru comes into the race with growing form and with a previous win at the Tour to his palmares. While Pogačar will head in with confidence after a strong showing in his Grand Tour debut in 2019 at the Vuelta España where he won 3 stages and finished 3rd overall.
The pair will be supported in the hills by the experienced climbing trio of Davide Formolo, Jan Polanc and David De La Cruz. Kristoff will look for opportunities in the sprints, while road captain Marco Marcato and Vegard Stake Laengen will prove vital on the flatter roads.
-Tadej Pogačar (Slo)
-Fabio Aru (Ita)
-Davide Formolo (Ita)
-Jan Polanc (Slo)
-Alexander Kristoff (Nor)
-Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor)
-David De La Cruz (Spa)
-Marco Marcato (Ita)
The team will be led by Team Manager Joxean Matxin Fernandez (Spa) along with Sports Directors Allan Peiper (Aus) , Simone Pedrazzini (Swi) and John Wakefield (RSA).
Allan Peiper (Sports Director) : “We are confident at UAE Team Emirates that we have selected the best possible team for the Tour de France 2020 to support our leaders for the General Classification, Tadej Pogačar and Fabio Aru. Alexander Kristoff will have opportunities in the sprints but is prepared to change roles and support our GC leaders if necessary. We are all excited and motivated to be able to participate in this year’s Tour de France.”
Tadej Pogačar: “ I’m a little nervous but mostly excited for my first Tour. At the Dauphine we showed what we could do as a team. We were consistently strong all week : Formolo won a stage, De La Cruz took the mountains jersey and I was high on GC. It was really good preparation for the Tour de France and a sign of what we can do. We know that the Tour will be another step-up but we are confident if all goes well that we can do good things. ”
Matxin Fernandez (Manager) : ”The Tour de France is vital for everybody this year. After the season was re-scheduled and the confinement period, the Tour has grown to be a key event – for riders, teams, sponsors and organisers. We’ve had some races on the run-in to the Tour and are privileged to have had a number of wins and successes during that preparation period.
“For this Tour we have a well-balanced team. Fabio Aru goes in with the responsibility as joint leader along with Tadej Pogačar. Tadej will take it day by day and though we have a lot of confidence in him he will go in without any big pressure on his shoulders. It’s his first Tour and it will be a big experience for him. Between the leaders along with Polanc, Formolo and De La Cruz we have five riders who can do very well in the hills. For the flatter days we have Laengen, Kristoff and Marcato who will add strength and experience in the hectic moments that arise during any Tour de France. Kristoff will play a versatile role but will have his chances in the sprints, starting with stage 1.”