Matxin: "After the Tour, Pogacar plans to do the Vuelta"

The UAE manager considers that the Slovenian, a solid yellow, is "in the same numbers" as in 2020 and does not enter to assess the doubts it generates.


The 50-year-old Basque Joxean Fernández Matxin serves as general manager of the UAE. In the Tour he enjoys the comfortable leadership of Tadej Pogacar, and for the future he has a Spanish diamond: Juan Ayuso. Spoke with AS.

How do Pogacar and the UAE face the second week?

Good, with the need to control the race and avoid mishaps or falls, so that nothing extra-sporting happens. We have the peace of mind of a job well done and a considerable income compared to other rivals.

Do you trust your runners to protect the lead?

Yes, there is nothing more than watching TV these days. In the alpine stages, of the last 14 riders, we had four. The squad is solid and we have blind confidence in Tadej, Tadej in his teammates and Tadej in Tadej.

Why so much superiority?

Possibly Tadej is at a very similar level to the previous year. However, the falls and the nerves of the start, which did not affect him, meant that some important names, such as Roglic or Thomas, were fired, and that a lot of space was opened with the other favorites.

There are already debates about the legitimacy of Pogacar.

I turn to the 2020 numbers, they are practically the same, and to the tests they are subjected to. But hey, it's an opinion and I'm not going to go in.

(Between 2004 and 2011, under various names -from Saunier Duval to Geox-, the structure of Matxin and Mauro Gianetti registered the positives in the Tour de Iban Mayo -2007-, Riccardo Riccò and Leonardo Piepoli -2008-, or the values anomalies of Rubén Lobato, Ricardo Serrano, Alberto Fernández de la Puebla and Juanjo Cobo -who was left without the 2011 Vuelta -).

Will you attend the Vuelta?

Yes, the Vuelta appears in Tadej's program, although right now we are focusing on the Tour and getting the second title with it. Hopefully I don't end up too tired to face it with guarantees.

And Juan Ayuso?

No, not at all.

What will your schedule be in this second part of the season?

He will compete in Ordizia and San Sebastián, and we are going to prepare very well for the Tour del Porvenir. We do not want to rush with him, he is only 18 years old. We hope that you do not lose your winning mentality and that you compete in events within your reach. If we send him to Austria and a Roglic appears, it does not depend on his level to measure himself against a superlative rival.

(Ayuso, born in Barcelona on September 16, 2002, became the youngest ever and the first national rider to win the Baby Giro. He has six wins this 2021) .

Is it the future of the Spanish squad?

We'll see, but he sure has the right balance between physical talent and a very good head on his shoulders. We sign him until 2025 because he brings together class, ambition, character, personality ... We consider him a pure talent and that you have, you don't buy. Now it's time to take care of its growth. Step by step.

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