UAE signs long-term contract to keep Pogacar through 2024

Budding superstar will step into leadership role at Tour de France with backing of five-year deal.

While some teams are on the verge of collapse, others are securing their future.

UAE-Emirates confirmed Thursday it will keep budding superstar Tadej Pogačar in team colors through the end of 2024.

“I am happy to continue my relationship with UAE Team Emirates,” Pogačar said. “I turned professional here and I feel very comfortable with everyone.  I believe in the team and I want to be part of this ambitious project.  The next five years will be fundamental for the team and for my career, with the hope that they will be fruitful years for both parties.”

A winner of the Tour de l’Avenir in 2018, Pogačar impressed in his rookie pro season last year. He won the Volta ao Algarve and what was the final edition of the Amgen Tour of California before blitzing the Vuelta a España, winning three stages and finishing third overall.

“Tadej won everyone over – not only with his results, but also with his attitude,” said team manager Mauro Gianetti. “The rest was just a matter of doing the paperwork.”

Details of the contract were not revealed, but Pogačar was already extended into 2022, and team management didn’t want to let its budding star slip away.

Pogačar rode hot into 2020 before coronavirus stopped racing, winning the Volta a Valenciana in his season debut and finishing second at the abbreviated UAE Tour. He was scheduled to make his Tour de France debut this summer, and with the revised calendar, he’ll work toward being ready for the August 29 start in Nice.

“Pogačar represents the type of rider that each team would like: talented with a strong will to learn every day,” Gianetti said. “Values ​​that will project him to the top of world cycling.”

Pogačar’s extension until 2024 also reveals that team sponsors from the United Arab Emirates are backing the younger team with a multi-year plan.

“Our team has a longterm plan and we are happy that such a talented young man like Tadej has committed to our project,” said Matar Suhail Al Yabhouni Al Dhaheri, president of the Emirati squad. “We are a young but very ambitious team.  The aim is not only to win the most important races in the world, but also to promote healthy lifestyles in the United Arab Emirates. Tadej will help us in both ways because in the UAE they have gone crazy for the team and its cyclists.”