Tadej Pogačar 'pretty happy' with fourth place in UAE Tour time trial

The Slovenian sits fifth on general classification after three stages

Tadej Pogačar
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tadej Pogačar has said that he was "pretty happy" with his efforts on stage three of the UAE Tour, which saw him finish fourth on the day and lifted to fifth overall.

The UAE-Team Emirates rider finished just 18 seconds behind the winner, EF Education-EasyPost's Stefan Bissegger on the 9km course. It has set the the UAE rider up well ahead of bigger general classification tests in the coming days. The only GC rival to do better was Tom Dumoulin of Jumbo-Visma, who bettered Pogačar's time by four seconds.

The effort left the Slovenian ahead of other contenders such as Ineos Grenadiers' Adam Yates and Bora-Hansgrohe's Aleksandr Vlasov. 

"It was a really fast course, it was a really flying pace, you couldn't go much faster than that," Pogačar said. He averaged just under 54km/h over his 10:01 effort.

"On the way back it was raw power and I did my best. I did my best intensity ever, so I’m pretty happy. It was a good time."

Wednesday sees the return of the climb to Jabel Jais, where Pogačar finished second behind Jonas Vingegaard of Jumbo-Visma last year. The biggest test will come on Saturday with the final stage including the climb of Jabel Hafeet, where the 23-year old has won twice before.

"We’re looking good for tomorrow and for the next few days," Pogačar said post-stage

"Everyone is super good and I’m super happy for João [Almeida] and Mikkel [Bjerg], they're up there too, Rafa Majka too. We’re really focused and really good for this race. We’re all in good shape."

Almeida finished just four seconds behind his teammate, with Bjerg another two seconds back. Almeida could prove a useful foil for UAE-Team Emirates in the climbing stages; the Portugese rider is building up to the Giro d'Italia while the Slovenian has targets later in the season.

Pogacar's form was unknown coming into the UAE Tour due to his bout of covid earlier this month. However, the two-time Tour de France champion looks in good shape to defend his title. The race is undoubtedly important to his team, it being their home race.

If he should falter, then UAE have Almeida ready to step up. Therefore, other contenders like Dumoulin and Yates will have to defeat more than one rider in white in order to be triumphant.

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Adam Becket
Senior news and features writer

Adam is Cycling Weekly’s senior news and feature writer – his greatest love is road racing but as long as he is cycling on tarmac, he's happy. Before joining Cycling Weekly he spent two years writing for Procycling, where he interviewed riders and wrote about racing, speaking to people as varied as Demi Vollering to Philippe Gilbert. Before cycling took over his professional life, he covered ecclesiastical matters at the world’s largest Anglican newspaper and politics at Business Insider. Don't ask how that is related to cycling.