Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) will start his 2023 season with back-to-back races in Spain next week and will not defend his UAE Tour title.
The two-time Tour de France winner won the UAE Tour in 2022 and 2021.
“I’m excited for these races and to pin on a number again and be with the team,” said Pogacar.
“I’ve been watching the first races last weeks on the TV and enjoying it, but also wishing a bit to be there in the action.
“The preparation has been good. I had a bit of gastroenteritis in January which wasn’t very pleasant but thankfully I’m over it and feeling healthy.
“It’s nice to experience new races and I’m looking forward to what Jaen and Andalucia have in store for us. I can’t wait to start racing again.”
New signing Adam Yates looks set to lead UAE Team Emirates in the UAE Tour, which starts on February 20.
Vuelta a Espana champion Remco Evenepoel (Soudal–Quick-Step) will also ride the seven-stage race.
Pogacar will be joined at the Vuelta Andalucia by Rafal Majka, George Bennett and Tim Wellens.
“For Jaen and Andalucia we have a highly experienced team who we believe can do great things,” said UAE Team Emirates sports manager Joxean Matxin Fernandez.
“Obviously the gravel aspect of Jaen makes it a good place for us to test material and bikes, so it’s a race that offers a lot. But of course, like any race we do we are also there to target victory.
“We are taking a roster with a lot of quality which will be headed by Pogacar who will also make his season debut here. Though we have many riders in the team who can step-up for a big result.”
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