The 23-year-old is set to lead UAE Team Emirates at the French one-day race, the 28th race of the WorldTour calendar, while Matteo Trentin and Diego Ulissi are among the other riders on the seven-man squad.
Speaking in a UAE Team Emirates press release ahead of the race, Pogačar said he hadn’t been pushing himself since his last race, the Donostia San Sebastián Klasikoa.
“Since the last races I’ve been taking it quite easy,” he said. “I visited the Tour de France Femme to cheer Urška [Zigart] which was great and then had a nice break spending some time at home in Slovenia also.”
The Bretagne Classic-Ouest France is a hilly race held in Brittany in north-west France, its challenging parcours favours puncheurs, versatile sprinters, and attackers. AG2R Citroën rider Benoît Cosnefroy will be back to defend his title this weekend after beating Julian Alaphilippe following a long-range move last August.
Pogačar, part of the new crop of superstars who are able to succeed on almost any terrain, is automatically among the favourites for the title on Sunday, despite his lack of racing. However, he said that he’s expecting to suffer at the race and will take some time to get back into the racing rhythm ahead of goals later in the season.
“What do I expect in Plouay? Probably to suffer a lot,” Pogačar said. “I’ve trained well the last few weeks and feel strong, but it usually takes a bit of time to really get back into the race rhythm.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back into the racing and kicking off the last part of the season.”
As well as the likes of Pogačar and Cosnefroy, big names on the start list in Brittany include Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost), Michael Matthews (BikeExchange-Jayco), Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ), and Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert).