UAE cycling team of Tour champ Pogačar gets COVID-19 vaccine

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ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — The riders and staff of the cycling team fronted by Tour de France champion Tadej Pogačar have received a COVID-19 vaccine ahead of the start of the 2021 season.

UAE Team Emirates said Friday that 27 riders and 32 staff members have had a vaccine developed by Sinopharm CNBG out of China and approved by the United Arab Emirates’ Ministry of Health & Prevention.

“As a UAE team, we are enormously proud of the efforts the nation and its leadership has taken at every level to both combat the impact the of the COVID-19 pandemic and to be a leader in the efforts to bring life back to normal,” team principal Mauro Gianetti said.

The World Tour season is set to start with the UAE Tour scheduled for Feb. 21-27. The Tour Down Under, which was scheduled to open the season on Jan. 19, was canceled.

The UCI is hoping it can complete a full World Tour season otherwise.