Tadej Pogacar returns after title defence of Tour de France and bronze at Tokyo

The UAE Team Emirates rider go into the Bretagne Classic on Sunday

Stage winner Team UAE Emirates rider Slovenia's Tadej Pogacar celebrates his overall leader yellow jersey on the podium after winning the 20th stage of the 107th edition of the Tour de France cycling race, a time trial of 36 km between Lure and La Planche des Belles Filles, on September 19, 2020. / AFP / POOL / Christophe Ena
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Tadej Pogacar is returning to action for the first time after a successful defence of the Tour de France and then grabbing bronze at the Tokyo Olympics five days later.

The UAE Team Emirates rider flew to Tokyo straight after the gruelling 21-day world tour race from June 26 to July 21.

The Slovenian, 22, will be back in action in the 85th Bretagne Classic, a one-day race over 251-kilometres, on Sunday.

Pogacar confirmed he would compete in the European Championships, World Championships and Il Lombardia before ending his 2021 season.

“After some downtime since the Olympics I’m coming back for Bretagne Classic,” Pogacar said.

“It’s a new challenge for me. I’ve never done this race before and I’m excited for it.

“Since Tokyo I managed to go back to Slovenia, to my hometown Komenda and greet all my friends and family which was really nice after what has been an unforgettable summer so far.

“Back home in the summer, good weather, went to the beach and enjoyed a bit. They are little things but now I’m back at work."

Pogacar has also won the Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Tirreno-Adriatico, the UAE Tour and the Tour of Slovenia so far in the 2021 season.

“Now I’m back in training preparing for the last goals of the season which include the Europeans, Worlds and Il Lombardia,” he said.

Pogacar is set to compete in both the time trial and road race at the European Championships in Trento (September 9 and 12), and participate in the World Championships in Belgium (September 26) and Il Lombardia (October 9).

“I am living my dream right now but looking ahead, I’m going to take race by race,” he said of the season and the remainder of the year.

“I enjoy racing. I still have lot of different races to compete in. You will see what I can do at different races in different places. In the future I would like to win the Giro (Italy) and Veulta (Spain), which I haven't won yet."

Pogacar will lead the UAE Team Emirates squad at the Bretagne Classic in Plouay, alongside Juan Ayuso, Valerio Conti, Sebastian Molano, Yousif Mirza, Aleksandr Riabushenko and Diego Ulissi.

Updated: August 29, 2021, 4:36 AM