Mathieu van der Poel meets Tour winner Tadej Pogacar in Tour of Emirates

Mathieu van der Poel will compete next month in the Tour of the United Arab Emirates against Tadej Pogacar and Chris Froome. The Slovenian winner of the last Tour de France and the Brit to win the Tour of France four times have also signed up for the opening match of the WorldTour.

The organisation also reported the arrival of World Time Trial Champion Filippo Ganna, the sprinters Sam Bennett, Caleb Ewan, Pascal Ackermann and Fernando Gaviria. Last years winner, Adam Yates, is back in the game.

At the

beginning of this month, Van der Poel announced that he would prefer the Tour of the Emirates to the Belgian opening weekend, consisting of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne on 27 and 28 February. The all-rounder of Alpecin-Fenix sees the seven-day stage race (21 to 27 February) as a good preparation for the spring classics.

Froome was scheduled to debut in the Tour of San Juan for his new team Israel Start-Up Nation this month, but the Argentine stage race did not take place because of the coronacrisis. The 35-year-old Brit is now focusing on the Tour of the Emirates. Pogacar, the 22-year-old climber of Team Emirates, finished second in the round behind Yates last year.