Al­tea Tadej Po­gacar claims vic­tory at Vuelta Va­len­ciana

Muscat Daily - - CORPORATE NEWS -

Af­ter a win­ning dis­play on stage 4 on the steep climb to Al­tea, Tadej Po­gacar has ce­mented his vic­tory in the Vuelta Va­len­ciana (2.1).

With a rel­a­tively short fi­nal stage of 97.7km, it was des­tined to be a day for the sprint­ers. In the fi­nal kilo­me­tres UAE Team Emirates were ac­tive at the front with even race leader Po­gacar pulling on the front in sup­port of Alexan­der Kristoff.

Fabio Jakob­sen (De­ce­un­inck Quick Step) proved quick­est in the dash for the line with Kristoff just be­hind in 4th.

This re­sult from Po­gacar marks the sev­enth vic­tory of the sea­son for the UAE squad who will now turn their at­ten­tion to the Tour Colom­bia 2.1 which gets un­der way on Tues­day.

Di­rec­tor Spor­tif Neil Stephens was quick to pay com­pli­ments to the team and to Kristoff who played a key team role dur­ing the week and will now look to­wards the clas­sics.

Stephens said, “It was a rel­a­tively quiet day to­day. De­ce­un­inck and Jumbo Visma con­trolled the fin­ish to set it up for a sprint. As far as we were con­cerned our pri­or­ity was look­ing af­ter Tadej and then in the fi­nal few kilo­me­tres we tried our best for Alex in the sprint.

“It’s been a tough week for every­body es­pe­cially Alex; he’s been sprint­ing in the sprint stages and work­ing in the moun­tain stages and even though 4th isn’t a stage win he’s in good form; it’s a pos­i­tive sign head­ing into the spring clas­sics.

“As far as we’re con­cerned it’s a great start for the team in Europe, there’s a re­ally good vibe in the team and we’re look­ing for­ward to more and big­ger chal­lenges in the fu­ture.”

Po­gacar said, “This win means a lot to me, es­pe­cially af­ter all the hard work we did in the win­ter to pre­pare. To start my first race and win is in­cred­i­ble, my form is re­ally good – not as good as when I was in the Vuelta a Es­pana ob­vi­ously, but the sea­son is still early. My first big goal of the year will be the UAE Tour at the end of this month be­fore build­ing up to­wards my first Tour de France.”

Kristoff said, “It was a good week for the team – we won two stages and the GC so we can’t ask for more. For me it was also a good week, I felt quite strong on every stage and I was com­pet­i­tive in the sprints.

“I took a 3rd and a 4th, for sure I was aim­ing for more but I take con­fi­dence head­ing into my next race in Clásica Almería.”

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