Joxean Matxin on Pogacar: "Even though we have a team of rockstars, they obviously all believe in Tadej"

UAE Team Emirates are virtually ready for the Tour de France, and at the time being all of the team is united at Isola 2000 in the French Alps. Joxean Matxín, a core part of the team's management, has talked about Tadej Pogacar and his preparation for the Tour which starts in only week and a half's time.

“What I can say is that he didn’t come out of the Giro tired of legs or tired of mind," Matxín said in words to Bici.Pro. The Slovenian prepared the first part of his season aiming for a lot of victories and he got them. Strade Bianche, Volta a Catalunya, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and finally the Giro d'Italia where he also won six stages. But still, the UAE leader looked to be in relative ease throughout some mountains, and comfortably won the overall classification - with almost 10 minutes of lead over his closest rival. The lack of stress and taking himself to the limit constantly saw a happy and relaxed Pogacar after the end of the race. After a week's rest, he travelled to altitude to prepare for the Tour de France.

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And in the French ski station, the team had a base which it already used to study many of the Tour's mountain stages. “We saw the last four stages, and we were almost always able just to leave by bike from the hotel to do that. In some cases, we did the whole stage, whereas for others we only looked at the finale because we didn’t want to be going back and forth too much in the cars.” Team Visma | Lease a Bike and BORA - hansgrohe for example are staying nearby in Tignes, whilst Remco Evenepoel and Soudal - Quick-Step are also in Isola 2000.

Besides hard training, UAE are also having some small tests ahead of the Tour. “We’ve tested some new things on the bikes, mainly with regard to lightening them, and we did time trial testing. Small things, but they make the difference. The bikes are the same as at the Giro, but we’ve tried to lighten them a bit.”

On the man himself, who is being joined by the likes of Adam Yates, João Almeida and Juan Ayuso, Matxin has nothing but words of confidence: “I see him motivated, I see him calm, I see him happy. I can't say anything negative, because there is nothing negative. And even though we have a team of rockstars, they obviously all believe in Tadej as the leader of this team for the Tour.”

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