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After missing out on a third Tour de France victory this season, Tadej Pogačar’s UAE Team Emirates have brought on some more climbing support in the form of Slovenian Domen Novak, who will move across from Bahrain Victorious.

Pogačar was frequently isolated during the Tour de France, while Jumbo-Visma surrounded winner Jonas Vingegaard with super-domestiques including an outstanding ride by Wout van Aert in the Pyrenees.

Novak doesn’t have the palmares of the Belgian, but the 27-year-old’s talents have largely flown under the radar. In the Giro d’Italia this May, he finished second atop the Passo Fedaia on stage 20 but the result was overshadowed by the general classification battle behind, where Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) stripped the maglia rosa from the shoulders of Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers). 

Novak was also third overall in the Tour of Slovenia, that result again eclipsed by Pogačar’s presence on the top step.

The 2019 Slovenian road champion joins Tim Wellens (from Lotto Soudal) and Felix Großschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe) in moving across to strengthen Pogačar’s team. The team also extended the contract of 19-year-old Juan Ayuso – a possible future Grand Tour contender and winner of the under-23 Giro d’Italia – through 2028.

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“It has been my dream to ride for UAE Team Emirates alongside a champion like Tadej Pogačar and so many other good riders. Now the dream has came true, I’m honoured and grateful for the trust they have shown me and I’m eager to begin the journey,” Novak said in the team’s press release.

Team principal Mauro Gianetti added, “Novak is a rider who has shown good progression in his years as a professional and we feel he can provide good qualities to the team, especially in the mountains. He has many years under his belt at World Tour level and we believe he has a lot to offer our team in the years ahead.”

SOURCE: CyclingNews   (go to source)
AUTHOR: Laura Weislo
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