Pogacar chooses Andalusia to open 2023
Jaén Paraíso Interior and Vuelta a Andalucía - Ruta del Sol will be the first races of the new season for Tadej Pogacar on his way to regain the yellow jersey of the Tour de France. The Slovenian has opted for the Spanish races instead of traveling, as he had been doing in the last three years, to the UAE Tour, of which he has won two, the home race for the Emirati team.
Tadej Pogacar changes the Emirates for Andalusia at the start of 2023
Surprising decision in the planning of the new 2023 season for Tadej Pogacar, who has chosen to replace the roads of the UAE Tour, a race he has won in the last two editions, with the young Jaén Paraíso Interior, which will celebrate its second edition next Monday, February 13th.
A race that brings to Spain the race format inspired by the Italian Strade Bianche, one of the races that has gained more popularity in recent years and that many dare to define as the sixth monument. As in the Tuscan race, the Jaén Paraíso Interior is defined by the 8 dirt sections that splash its 179 kilometers through the surroundings of Úbeda. Through the characteristic olive groves that have made this province famous worldwide.
A race that, despite its peculiarities, will not be a strange terrain for Tadej Pogacar, who last year won the Strade Bianche in an unappealable way, thanks to a tremendous exhibition with an overwhelming attack more than 40 kilometers from the finish line. Will we see another similar exhibition in the Andalusian race? We will have to wait a few days to find out for sure.
Pogacar will continue its start of the campaign in the south of Spain by linking up with the Vuelta a Andalucía - Ruta del Sol, the traditional one-week tour to be held between February 15 and 19. A race marked by leg-breaking and mid-mountain terrain that is ideal for the start of the season, accompanied by the usual good weather that these lands usually enjoy at this time of the year.
As it happens with Jaén Paraíso Interior, for Tadej Pogacar it will also be his first participation in Vuelta a Andalucía because, as we mentioned before, UAE Tour has had priority in the beginning of his campaigns due to obvious sponsorship interests. Only two seasons ago he anticipated his debut participating in Vuelta a Valencia before going to the Emirati race and in 2019, his first year in the World Tour, despite debuting in Australia, he surprised us with an impressive presentation in society in which he advanced his class in the broken roads of the Tour of the Algarve.
The start of a campaign that will have its zenith in the month of July, where he will try to regain his throne in the Tour de France and thus achieve his third yellow jersey that last year frustrated Jonas Vingegaard despite the tremendous level that the Slovenian showed on the French roads and that kept him in the fight until the last moment.
After the Tour, Pogacar's intention is to take advantage of his form to face the Road World Championships which, we remind you, this year changes its usual dates of celebration to be held in August in the super world championship that will group different modalities such as track or mountain bike with Glasgow as the venue.
On the other hand, the Slovenian has not confirmed his calendar for the rest of the spring, although everything suggests that he will participate again in the Tour of Flanders, a race in which he made his debut last year and in which he came close to victory despite the atypical cobbled terrain where it is unusual to see a winner of the Tour de France.