Tadej Pogačar secures staggering second place at Tour de France, strengthening Slovenia's image as a cycling superpower

Published: 23.7.2023

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Tadej Pogačar secures staggering second place at Tour de France, strengthening Slovenia's image as a cycling superpower

This year's Tour de France has seen unprecedented media coverage right from the start, with credit owed in large part to the Slovenian champion and the ambassador of Slovenian tourism, Tadej Pogačar. Additionally, Matej Mohorič's stage victory has significantly contributed to the growing popularity of Slovenia. For the third consecutive year, the Slovenian Tourist Board (STB) has run a digital content campaign during the race, successfully showcasing Slovenia as a premier destination for active outdoor recreation and athlete training. In the first two weeks alone, the campaign has yielded impressive results. One particular video featuring Pogačar, where Slovenian potica took center stage, achieved an impressive 100,000 views on social media within a single day.

Tadej Pogačar secures staggering second place at Tour de France, strengthening Slovenia's image as a cycling superpower

Initially doubtful to compete in the Tour de France due to an injury, Pogačar's presence became the centre of attention for the global cycling community a month before the race. The first two weeks unfolded with daily coverage closely following the fierce competition between Tadej Pogačar and Jonas Vingegaard, both prominent favourites. As the third week unfolded, a whirlwind of excitement and unpredictability took over. Adding to the spectacle, Matej Mohorič captured significant attention with his triumphant stage win, which was further magnified by a high-profile post-stage interview.

Throughout each stage, Pogačar consistently showcased his indomitable fighting spirit and unwavering commitment to cycling, while also generously engaging with his fans. Building upon his two previous overall victories in the Tour de France, this year he accomplished yet another impressive feat by securing the white jersey for the best young rider for the fourth consecutive year and securing a remarkable second place overall.

Amidst Tadej Pogačar's challenging journey in the Tour de France, the STB team, ever supportive, extends heartfelt congratulations to him for his remarkable performance and outstanding results: "Beyond being an inspirational athlete and multiple-time winner, Pogačar's exceptional sportsmanship, passion for the sport, and positive outlook have endeared him not only to Slovenians but also to fans worldwide."

Under the I feel Slovenia brand, the STB is forging strong partnerships with the ambassadors of Slovenian tourism, leveraging the triumphs of Primož Roglič at Giro D'Italia and Pogačar's Tour de France second place as pivotal cycling events to elevate Slovenia's image and promote thrilling outdoor experiences. Cycling plays a vital role in bolstering the spring and autumn tourist seasons, presenting a fantastic opportunity for Slovenian destinations with specialized cycling accommodations, superb cuisine, and top infrastructure, boasting an extensive network of cycling routes. Thanks to the ambassadorship of Pogačar and Roglič, the STB has significantly enhanced Slovenia's visibility as a premier tourist destination and a coveted haven for cycling enthusiasts, which is once again confirmed by the excellent results of the promotional activities.

The STB introduced the Sports Fans of Slovenia platform last year, aiming to connect fans of Slovenia and Slovenian athletes worldwide. This year, the platform received further enhancements with fresh content showcasing international sports events in Slovenia and celebrating the achievements of Slovenian athletes.

Pogačar's stellar performance elevates Tour de France to new heights

The Tour de France witnessed one of its finest editions, largely credited to the extraordinary performance of Tadej Pogačar. A month before the race commenced, global media and social networks were already focusing on two favorites: the two-time Tour de France champion, Tadej Pogačar, and the previous year's winner, Jonas Vingegaard. The Times published an extensive article delving into Pogačar's exceptional personality, the role of Slovenia in shaping him into a world-class cyclist, and his journey to the pinnacle of the sport. Journalist Elgan Alderman remarked, "It's the Slovenian way: Tadej was shaped by his country and its people."

The Tour de France's television broadcast reached 190 countries across the globe, prominently featuring Pogačar and Vingegaard in their coverage. Slovenian fans also drew attention, often being spotted with I feel Slovenia promotional flags provided by the STB.

Slovenia captures global media spotlight, reaching millions

The enthralling battle between the two favourites, marked by their relentless pursuit of victory from the very beginning, has garnered immense interest in the Slovenian champion, Tadej Pogačar, and Slovenia as a whole, particularly within the realm of digital media. Over the past month, there have been more than 14,600 mentions of Pogačar in social media posts, online news articles, videos, and podcasts. Among various social networks, Instagram stands out as the most popular platform where Pogačar is widely discussed. Notable profiles contributing to the widespread mentions of Pogačar and Slovenia include the official Tour de France profile, global TV network Eurosport, prominent cycling media outlets, and digital content creators like GCN Racing, NBC Sports Cycling, and Domestique. Remarkably, during the French Pentathlon, Pogačar achieved a milestone of surpassing one million followers on Instagram.

The STB's activation campaign for this year's Tour de France comprised digital advertising, resulting in an impressive 1.8 million impressions within the first two weeks alone. Additionally, the campaign involved a well-crafted digital content strategy, encompassing a series of online newsletters connecting ongoing events at the Tour de France with exciting outdoor experiences in Slovenia. More than 50 engaging posts were shared across the STB's own social media channels as part of the campaign. By actively participating in the race's current events, the STB's posts frequently earned featured spots on Twitter, accompanied by the official hashtag #TDF2023.

Pogačar's bakery adventure and the potica video garner 100K wiews overnight

Pogačar amused his Instagram followers with a video during his day off from the bike race, where he visited a bakery for bread. In response, the STB crafted a funny video showcasing the well-known Slovenian dish, potica, deemed an ideal choice for cyclists seeking abundant energy. Within a mere twenty-four hours, the video garnered over 100,000 views across Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. The comments section also brimmed with appreciation for other traditional Slovenian dishes that left a lasting impression on visitors to Slovenia.


Cycling Fans of Slovenia Strava Club complete over ten Tour de France cycles

The dedicated members of the Strava club, Cycling Fans of Slovenia, have once again united their cycling efforts to cheer on Pogačar, propelling him towards another resounding career triumph as they collectively accumulate kilometres across Slovenia. Comprising ardent cycling enthusiasts, the club has already surpassed an impressive 36 thousand kilometers in the first two weeks alone, equivalent to ten complete journeys covering the entire French Pentathlon.

Jumbo Visma development team training in Slovenia during Tour de France

For the past seven years, the Slovenian Tourist Board has been fostering a productive partnership with the esteemed Dutch cycling club, Jumbo Visma, boasting prominent members such as Primož Roglič and Jan Tratnik. This partnership has significantly bolstered Slovenia's reputation as a premier cycling destination, offering a diverse array of enriching cycling experiences, top-notch sports accommodations, and exceptional infrastructure catering to both recreational and professional cyclists.

Year after year, the Jumbo Visma development team has found the ideal training ground and post-training recovery facilities at Rogla, impressed by the favourable cycling conditions and varied trails available in the surrounding areas. These promising young riders, destined to lead the world of professional cycling, have honed their skills on the diverse routes encompassing the picturesque landscapes of Rogla. The team has been equally delighted by the warm hospitality and outstanding athlete accommodations, enjoying daily access to numerous cycling routes that cater to their every need.

Cover photo by Alen Milavec

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Global public relations and Marketing
e-mail address: press(at)slovenia.info

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