Tadej Pogačar uses Giro d’Italia time trials as a proving ground ahead of Tour de France

Cycling’s Grand Tours have always been races of endurance and tact, demanding not just physical strength but also a keen understanding of race dynamics. This year, with a heavy emphasis on time trials, the well-known UAE Team Emirates has had to rearrange their resources and invest more into this particular discipline.

Investing in the Discipline

For those new to the world of cycling, time trials are a highly individualistic aspect of racing. The rider races alone against the clock, with the fastest time denoting the winner. This feature of the Grand Tours speaks volumes about the rider’s individual abilities and the team’s tactical planning. Recognising the importance of this, the UAE Team Emirates has devoted more resources into mastering this discipline.

Time trials pose a unique set of challenges. Unlike other race segments where riders can depend on their team for support, time trials require the rider to be self-sufficient. They have to be able to pace themselves, understand the course, and handle the psychological pressure of racing alone, all while trying to beat the clock.

UAE Team Emirates’ Approach

Recognising these challenges, the UAE Team Emirates has adopted a comprehensive approach. They have put in significant resources not just into training their riders for the time trials, but also into providing them with the best possible equipment and support. They understand that success in the time trials could significantly affect the team’s overall standing in the Grand Tours.

In recent years, the Grand Tours have not been particularly time-trial heavy. This change in focus has therefore required teams to adapt their strategies. The UAE Team Emirates has shown their adaptability and their understanding of the race’s evolving dynamics with this investment.

The UAE Team Emirates’ commitment to improving their time trial performance has already shown results. Their riders have put in strong performances, demonstrating the effectiveness of the team’s focus on this discipline.

The shift in focus towards time trials has also brought about a shift in tactics. Teams have to choose their riders carefully, considering their individual strengths as well as how they fit into the overall team strategy. The UAE Team Emirates’ approach to this has been methodical, selecting riders with proven time trial abilities while also considering their potential contribution to the team’s overall performance.