Pogacar to lead UAE Team Emirates at the Dauphine

DUBAI — The Criterium du Dauphine (Aug. 12–16) has traditionally been seen as the last big stage race ahead of the Tour de France, where riders look to test their form and asses their opposition.

This year’s 72nd edition — which finishes two weeks before the Tour — has been reduced from eight to five days, but still packs a punch with three mountain, one medium mountain and one hilly stage squeezed into 795kms of testing terrain.

Tadej Pogacar will lead a seven-man squad with support in the high ground from Davide Formolo, David de la Cruz and his fellow Slovenian Jan Polanc. With 27 climbs, and challenging uphill finishes at the end of each stage, this is a tour that will favor Pogacar’s characteristics and riding style.

The Norwegian trio of Vegard Stake Laengen, Sven Erik Bystrom and Alexander Kristoff will round out the team.

Pogacar said: "I'm coming into the Dauphine with some good race miles after my first time at Strade Bianche and Milano-Sanremo. Both races were really unique and an amazing experience. I was happy with my condition also.

“Some of the stages here at the Dauphiné could suit me, but the principal aim is building up for the Tour de France. Formolo is also really going well at the moment so we will try to do something between us here."

The team will be guided by an experienced group of Sports Directors including Allan Peiper, Andrej Hauptaman and John Wakefield. — SG