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VN news ticker: Tadej Pogačar defines road to Tour de France, Patrick Lefevere downplays Peter Sagan move

Here's what's making headlines on Wednesday, May 19.

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Tadej Pogačar defines schedule ahead of Tour de France

Tadej Pogačar defined his schedule ahead of his title defense at the Tour de France.

UAE Team Emirates officials confirmed Pogačar will prepare at altitude in Sestriere, Italy, before racing at the Tour of Slovenia (June 9-13) and the Slovenian national championships.

He will head to the grand départ in Brittany to defend his Tour de France title, followed by the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

“I’m really excited to get back to racing. I have had a busy time since my last race at Liège but I feel good and ready to aim for my next targets,” he said. “Last time I raced the Tour of Slovenia my teammate [Diego] Ulissi won it, so UAE are the defending champions. I’m pleased to go back there — it’s a race I’d dearly love to win.”

Patrick Lefevere downplays Peter Sagan move to Quick-Step

Deceuninck-Quick-Step boss Patrick Lefevere downplays rumors of a possible arrival of Peter Sagan.

Sagan’s contract is up in 2021, and speculation is rife that Sagan will leave Bora-Hansgrohe for a new team. Sagan reportedly wants to bring with him several key riders and staffers, something Lefevere said would not be an ideal fit for the Belgian team.

“I don’t want a team within a team, so I don’t know if I can fit him into my team and ambitions,” Lefevere said in a press call Tuesday. “And then there is a question of money. I don’t know if my sponsors would want to spend that money. Sagan’s career is winding down, but it’s not over yet. Look at riders like Cavendish and Gilbert.”

Lefevere confirmed Tuesday that Quick-Step will remain as title sponsor for six years.