EI 2022 ended with UAE and Jumbo as the two strongest teams of the season, with 48 victories for each one, but the balance declined in favor of the Dutch due to their success in the most important race: the Tour de France. Jonas Vingegaard seized the throne of Paris from a Tadej Pogacar who had won the two previous editions. Seven new runners arrived with a clear objective, According to Matxin, director and Team Manager of the UAE, to AS: “For this season we have balanced the team. Each runner has already defined their calendar, in which they have to be individually responsible and collectively important”.
In this way, and with the great tours as the main focus in the case of several of its stars, the team has already distributed the leaders: in the Giro d’Italia the Portuguese Joao Almeida will attend as leader of the ranks, while in La Vuelta it will be Juan Ayuso and in the Tour de France Tadej Pogacar will have the team for him. “Almeida was a rider who last year, under normal conditions (he withdrew due to COVID), would have finished on the podium in Italy. Ayuso, at 19 years old, was third in La Vuelta and Tadej had a bad day in which he dropped 2:50. Subsequently, he lost the Tour by a minor difference. After that, he became a better cyclist. He has anger, desire and need. He is a stronger runner”, describes Matxin, who despite changing his role for this 2023, “acquiring more responsibility”, will continue to be a fixture in the races.
Marc Soler will be with the young Ayuso in La Vuelta, and Adam Yates and Tim Wellens will be the new faces that will cover Tadej on the Tour. The Slovenian, who only runs one Grand Tour per year (2019 Vuelta, 2020, 2021 and 2022 Tour), will follow that roadmap, although in the future he is open to participating in two. Jay Vine, to the Giro with Almeida, and Matxin warns about another of the signings: “I have a lot of confidence in Felix Großschartner.”