Tour de France champion Tadej Pogacar has committed his future to UAE Team Emirates by signing a new deal to 2026, the cycling outfit announced on Tuesday. The 22-year-old is one of cycling’s brightest prospects and the announcement comes days after he claimed the honors at the season-opening UAE Tour.

Pogacar joined UAE in 2019 after training in the continental team Ljubljana Gusto Santi, and had already extended his contract last year until 2024.

“I feel at home in this team. There is a special atmosphere between the management, riders and staff and it’s a good environment to be in,” Pogacar said in a statement.

“The team shows a lot of trust and confidence in me which I am thankful for, and I work hard to show that when I’m racing alongside my teammates.

“I hope we can have many more successful seasons together in the years ahead.”

Pogacar kicked off the 2021 campaign in style at the weekend by winning the UAE Tour, holding off Briton Adam Yates to finish top of general classification by 35 seconds.

He claimed the red jersey on the second day of the seven-stage race and never relinquished it, also taking the white jersey for best young rider.

The Slovenian won last year’s Tour de France in dramatic fashion when he snatched the overall lead from compatriot Primoz Roglic on the penultimate stage.

He is the only rider to win the Tour de France’s famous yellow jersey, young rider and ‘King of the Mountains’ classifications at the same time. Pogacar also claimed three stages and took the young rider’s white jersey at the 2019 Vuelta a Espana, which was won by Roglic.

Tour de France 2020 – 107th Edition – Tadej Pogacar (SLO – UAE – Team Emirates) – Jan Polanc (SLO – UAE – Team Emirates)

RBA/AFP Photos: Bettini

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