Tadej Pogačar may insist that UAE Team Emirates have a line-up "prepared for all the different options" at Milan-San Remo , but, in truth, their selection is built squarely around the Slovenian.
Matteo Trentin, who abandoned Paris-Nice with a delayed concussion, and fellow fast finishers Fernando Gaviria and Pascal Ackermann are absent, with UAE Team Emirates instead fielding a team designed to lay the groundwork for Pogačar’s seemingly inevitable offensive in the finale.
Davide Formolo, Diego Ulissi, Jan Polanc, Oliviero Troia, Alessandro Covi and Milan-San Remo debutant Ryan Gibbons will line up alongside Pogačar at the Vigorelli velodrome in Milan on Saturday morning.
Already winner of the UAE Tour, Strade Bianche and Tirreno-Adriatico this season, Pogačar arrives in Milan as arguably the key favourite for Milan-San Remo, even if the race, at first glance, isn’t as ideally suited to his characteristics as Liège-Bastogne-Liège or Il Lombardia, the two Monuments he won last season.
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The peloton, however, is braced for Pogačar’s team to try to shape the race to his liking by setting an infernal tempo on his behalf on the capi in the final 50km of Milan-San Remo.
"I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the year. The whole team has pulled together and worked really hard so I think it is showing in our results […]