Tadej Pogačar and his UAE Team Emirates teammates will be testing out strategies later this week for next Tuesday’s vital Paris-Nice team time trial, focusing particularly on its new rule of taking the time of the first rider across the line.
The new format for the 32.7km TTT on stage 3 sees the clock stop on the first rider across the line rather than the fourth of fifth, and manager Joxean Fernández Matxin told Cyclingnews that the change will require tweaks to their approach.
UAE Team Emirates have even altered their line-up for the eight-day event in view of the TTT rule change, while Pogačar and a number of teammates will be training together near Monaco this week to test out various strategies for it.
Pogačar has already opted to skip this weekend’s edition of Strade Bianche in order to be sure he is in top condition for his debut in Paris-Nice, which starts on Sunday just outside the French capital.
“We are dedicating a lot of time specifically to working on this TTT. It changes a lot, right down to the actual line-up we’re taking to the race,” Matxin told Cyclingnews.
“For one thing, having times taken on the first rider when they cross the line means we have to go there with just one leader in mind.
“Rather than have two riders for GC for an event, as is our strategy in plenty of races, this TTT format means you have to define very clearly who that leader is before you start.”
To do that, various UAE riders living near Monaco, including Pogačar, will be training together, “to put the theory into practice as best they can, the order, the aerodynamics, power output and so on,” Matxin explained.
“But the thing is, it’s a team time trial that isn’t a team time trial. It reminds me of one that they had in a Girobio where the teams started in the order of the individual ranking. I’m not saying anything more about that one, except it hasn’t happened again!”
For the Paris-Nice team time trial around Dampierre-en-Burly, the rule change means that UAE Team Emirates will have to protect their leader Pogačar until the last part of the course.
“It affects the overall coordination of the group, and the balance between aerodynamics and power output to keep the overall speed as consistent as possible when it comes to the order of the riders in the line,” Matxin said.
“That’s particularly true in the final part of the TTT where you’re trying to ensure that the last rider for that last kilometre gets there as fresh as…
Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at CyclingNews RSS Feed…