Tadej Pogačar returns to open road training just one month before Tour de France

UAE Team Emirates rider has linked up with teammates at training camp in the Sierra Nevada

Tadej Pogačar
(Image credit: Getty Images)

On Saturday 1 July, the 2023 Tour de France begins in Bilbao. With just over a month to go to his biggest target of the year, Tadej Pogačar has returned to his bike on open roads for the first time since his crash at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, which saw him fracture his wrist.

The UAE Team Emirates rider has joined his teammates for the first time since the incident at a training camp in the Sierra Nevada this week, in advance of the Critérium du Dauphiné and Tour de Suisse next month, and then the Tour.

It means only about five weeks of preparation for Pogačar ahead of the Tour, at which he will hope to wrest back the yellow jersey from Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma), who triumphed last year.

Other UAE riders at the camp include Tim Wellens, who is also on his way back from injury, Adam Yates and Rafał Majka, in a group of 13. The latter two are expected to form a key part of Pogačar's support team at the Tour in July.

He wrote on Instagram, underneath a video of him training on his TT bike, and a photo of him on his road bike: "Being back on the road feels [OK emojis]. Recap of a few weeks work done at home. Many hours of rehab sessions and more hours on the indoor trainer (MyWhoosh).

"But with plenty of fun in between. Thanks to everyone for all the support. Now to join the guys at altitude camp."

Pogačar will not be present at the Dauphiné or Suisse, and his participation in the Tour of Slovenia is still up in the air; he won his home race in 2021 and 2022, but it might be too soon in his recovery. That race begins on the 14 June this year.

The Tour needs Pogačar, as much as Pogačar needs to win the Tour for a third time. The 24-year-old is the biggest star of cycling, and has won 12 times this year, including an incredible run of one-day victories at the Tour of Flanders, the Amstel Gold Race and La Flèche Wallonne.

The world's biggest bike race will go on regardless, but it will be devalued if we are deprived of a titanic rematch between Vingegaard and Pogačar. This is why everyone can breathe a huge sigh of relief at the news of the latter's return to his bike.

Meanwhile, intriguingly, Jumbo-Visma are also present at a training camp in the Sierra Nevada, with Vingegaard there along with Wout van Aert, Tiesj Benoot, Dylan van Baarle, Wilco Kelderman, Nathan Van Hooydonck, Christophe Laporte, and Steven Kruijswijk. It would not take a genius to work out that this is the bones of the team's Tour squad.

Vingegaard will be back in action at the Dauphiné next week. 

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

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.