Tadej Pogačar is winner of the 27th Tour of Slovenia
Defending Tour de France champion has today official won his home race. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) gave Slovenian fans what they wanted and went in history as 13th Slovenian winner of the race. Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious) won last stage with start in Ljubljana and finish in Novo mesto.
Tadej was a clear favorite for the race and he fulfil the promise. He secured the victory with the attack in the finish of the 2nd stage and only had to control the situation on the queen stage. Tadej after the race: I’m really happy with the race, I really enjoyed it. All riders and staff members had a really good time, we enjoyed in the beautiful Slovenia.”
Pogačar has a special connection with the race: “I was always close to the fastest on my first three Tour of Slovenian appearances, I always won white jersey. Now I finally have a green one and that makes me really happy. I’ve been always fond of this race, it was one of the first races that I watched in person.”
Tadej was also the best in the KOM competition, while the overall rankings stayed as they were after queen stage – 2ndwas Tadej’s teammate Diego Ulissi, third was Matteo Sobrero (Astana – Premier Tech). Slovenians Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious) and Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates) were 8th and 9th, respectively.
Mohorič won the points competition, jersey of the best young riders went on the shoulder of Kristjan Hočevar (Adria Mobil Cycling). “Team made sure I was in the safe position, I personally couldn’t wait to direct the bike towards Novo mesto. So many fans have waited for us, it was really amazing. I’m really happy to win this jersey, especially since I didn’t had any special expectation before the race. I want to thank my team for the support on the whole race. Now we’re off to national champs and Tour de Lavinir,” explained Hočevar.
Stage winner Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious) started and finished with the victory. He’s by far the strongest today in Novo mesto and didn’t gave his rivals any hope of success. Bauhaus: “It was super hard. My teammates were incredible, they are more than that, they are friends. They scarify everything for me and risk a lot, and that is really important for me. I’m proud to dedicate this victory to them. It was almost harder to finish 2nd today than to win.”
27th Tour of Slovenia was a great success, with broadcast to more than 130 countries and spectacular atmosphere all around the country. 1800 strong team has done a fantastic job and made sure that the race was safe and fun for everyone.
It’s now time for the national champs and then Tour de France, main goal of race winner Tadej Pogačar. So let’s finish with his thoughts: “Tour of Slovenia gave me right racing rhythm, and that will be of great help on the first week of Tour. Route in Slovenia was very diverse, we had everything from climbs to sprints, and it was a good training race. I’ll now race nationals and then we go to France.”