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22 April 2024, 11:31

UAE Team Emirates’ Pogaĉar on the hunt for further 'monumental' glory


BRUSSELS, 22 April, (BelTA - Emirates News Agency) - UAE Team Emirates heads into the famous Liege-Bastogne-Liege hungry for more monument success. Talisman Tadej Pogaĉar returns to lead the team on the back of a successful start to the 2024 season for the Slovenian, with the team aiming to round off their impressive 2024 spring classics campaign with a big win in Belgium.

Known as ‘La Doyenne’, the hills of Belgium will provide the toughest of tests for those brave enough to risk defeat in the quest for victory. Liege-Bastogne-Liege, the oldest monument on the calendar is known for its brutal hills and drama-filled races. It’s a challenge that Pogaĉar will relish, with podium success in 2020 and then going one better and securing victory in 2021.

Pogaĉar is no stranger to brutal one-day races, with such mammoth challenges often producing some of the most memorable racing we’ve ever seen in professional cycling from the Slovenian. UAE Team Emirates’ leader already boasts an incredible one-day resume, with spectacular victories across Amstel-Gold, Tour of Flanders, and Strade Bianche to name a few. He will be ably supported by a strong line-up on Sunday with Marc Hirschi entering the race in stellar form and veteran Diego Ulissi bringing valuable experience.

Pogaĉar said, “I’m extremely excited for Sunday. I know firsthand how hard it is to win this race, winning by a few centimetres in 2021 and narrowly missing out by a few centimetres in 2020. I’m very proud of the team’s performances so far this season. We worked very hard together in Milan-San-Remo and Strade Bianche, and that same unity and resilience will be needed this weekend.”

UAE Team Emirates will face a stern challenge in Belgium, led by world champion Mathieu van der Poel, who has so far dominated spring racing. Van der Poel will be looking to add to his two monument wins already this season in the form of Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders.

Tom Pidcock of INEOS Grenadiers will be aiming to have a big say on the outcome of the race, fresh from a mighty fine victory in Amstel Gold last weekend. The flying Englishman has had a strong start to the year, with two top 20 finishes in monument races to go alongside his 4th place finish at Strade Bianche.

The race itself, with its identifiable arrowhead-shaped route, will see the riders compete over 259 kilometres. The peloton will head south of Liege with the climbing coming thick and fast for the riders. After passing through Bastogne with more than 100km of racing already in the legs, the peloton will traverse through a succession of short steep hills. The final 30 kilometres will see the riders tackle the unforgiving Cote de la Roudoute, which will provide a platform for aggressive climbers, like Tadej Pogaĉar, to put in an attack. The final chapter of this ferocious race will see the riders tackle two more climbs before going full gas downhill to the finish line, where another close finish seems inevitable.

In what has proved to be an outstanding start to the 2024 season for UAE Team Emirates, Tadej Pogacar will be looking to further cement his place amongst cycling immortality and secure yet another Monument victory.
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