Champion Pogacar, new recruit Hirschi to ride Tour de France for UAE team

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Paris (AFP)

Despite the continuing Covid-19 uncertainty, UAE Emirates on Monday unveiled how they plan to deploy their array of stars in the three Grand Tours this year.

The team announced three riders for each of the major three-week races.

Predictably, 22-year-old Slovene Tadej Pogacar will defend his Tour de France title starting on June 26.

UAE also said that star winter recruit, 22-year-old Swiss rider Marc Hirschi, will ride the Tour. Hirschi won the combativity award on last year's Tour. Veteran Norwegian sprinter Alexander Kristoff will also compete in the race.

UAE said that Pogacar would also ride the Vuelta a Espana, which runs from August 14 to September 5, backed up by Italian Matteo Trentin and Spaniard David de la Cruz.

For the Giro d'Italia, scheduled for May 8-30, UAE will be represented by 26-year-old Colombian sprinter Fernando Gaviria, Italian rider Davide Formolo and another 22-year-old, the American Brandon McNulty who, riding the race for the first time, was 15th last year.