Pogačar with strong win in Slovenia ahead of the Tour de France

Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) won the 2021 Tour of Slovenia, conquering his home race on the back of a long-range raid on Stage 2 of the five-day tour.

Tadej Pogacar, UAE Team Emirates, Tour of Slovenia

Tadej Pogačar and Diego Ulissi went 1-2 overall at the 2021 Tour of Slovenia. Source: UAE Team Emirates

Pogačar never looked in difficulty during the 2.Pro-rated race, stretching himself on Stage 2 to take a dominant solo, but looking to help out his teammates for the other stages. He led out Matteo Trentin in a sprint finish and the allowed Diego Ulissi to take Stage 4 while he marked moves behind and finished second.

The 22-year-old Pogačar first flashed his special talent as an 18-year old at the race, and he had already racked up three white jerseys as the best young rider to go with three top-five overall finishes. He claimed his first overall win in the race in style, with Slovenian fans waving flags turning out in force on the roadside to celebrate Pogačar and the recent growth of the sport in the country.

“It is an incredible emotion, I have been near the podium in this race four times and I can finally celebrate taking the title," said Pogačar. "It was a beautiful week that makes me happy and proud to be able to be here at home in front of all these people. The team has always worked well and we deserved these results, congratulations to all the guys."

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The UAE Team Emirates star will now turn his full attention to the Tour de France, where he'll be defending the title he won back in 2020.

"My legs are getting better and better and I’m almost ready for the Tour de France," said Pogačar. "I still have two weeks to prepare myself for what will be my next big goal.”

The final stage of the race was a sprint finish on an uphill run to the line in Novo Mesto, with Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious) profiting off a strong leadout from his team, with Australians Alex Edmondson (Team BikeExchange) and Heinrich Haussler (Bahrain Victorious) completing the podium. 

“The boys rode awesome today to keep me in good position in the final," said Edmondson. "From previous years we knew you had to be second or third through the last corner to have any chance at the win.

"I gave it my all, but I’m stoked to get second and finish a successful week with the boys. All week we rode awesome as a team so it’s a great way to finish the race off.”

Pogačar's rivals for the Tour de France title will no doubt be eyeing the defending champion's top performance at the race with some concern, particularly after stating that he still has some improvement left in him ahead of the 2021 edition of the French Grand Tour. 

Every moment of the 2021 Tour de France will be live on SBS, with the ŠKODA Tour Tracker app, SBS TV and the SBS Cycling Central the place to be to catch all the pulsating action from France from June 26 to July 18.


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3 min read
Published 14 June 2021 at 11:50am
By SBS Cycling Central
Source: SBS