After falling short of a third Tour de France win this season, Tadej Pogačar’s UAE Team Emirates brought in some more climbing support in the form of Slovenian Domen Novak, who will be moving from Bahrain Victorious.
Pogačar was often isolated during the Tour de France, while the Jumbo-Visma surrounded winner Jonas Vingegaard with superhomes, including Wout van Aert’s outstanding drive in the Pyrenees.
Novak doesn’t have the hands of the Belgian, but the 27-year-old’s talents have mostly slipped under the radar. At the Giro d’Italia this May, he finished second at the top of the Passo Fedaia in stage 20, but the result was overshadowed by the battle for the general classification, where Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) stripped the maglia rosa from the shoulders of Richard Carapazo (Ineos Grenadiers). .
Novak was also third overall in the Tour of Slovenia, and this result was once again overshadowed by Pogačar on the top step.
The 2019 Slovenian road transport champion joined Tim Wellens (from Lotto Soudal) and Felix Großschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe) in the transfer and strengthened Pogačar’s team. The team has also extended the contract of 19-year-old Juan Ayus – a possible future Grand Tour candidate and Giro d’Italia under-23 winner – until 2028.
“My dream was to ride for the UAE Team Emirates together with a champion like Tadej Pogačar and many other good riders. Now the dream has come true, I am honored and grateful for the trust they have shown me and eager to start the journey ,” Novak said in the team’s press release.
Team Principal Mauro Gianetti added: “Novak is a rider who has shown good progress in his years as a professional and we think he can provide good qualities to the team, especially in the mountains. He has many years at world tour level and we believe he can offer a lot to our team in the years to come.”