He came, he saw, he conquered

When he surprisingly won the prestigious Tour de France in 2020 at the age of 21, everyone wondered who Tadej Pogačar was. Today, the whole world knows him, as he and his role model and compatriot Primož Roglič have been at the top of world cycling for several years. ”Pogistar”, as he was nicknamed by the international media, went down in the history of cycling with resounding consecutive victories in the general classification of the Tour de France overall and with a decisive overall victory at the Giro d’Italia. The Slovenian cycling superstar in the jersey of UAE Team Emirates is also the youngest two-time winner of the Tour in history. In addition to his resounding victories in prestigious three-week races, Pogi also has an Olympic bronze medal in his collection, and he also set a new milestone in the UCI road racing world ranking when, at the age of 23, he became the first cyclist in history to crack the 6,000-point mark.

Yellow jersey for the overall victory
2021 and 2020
Polka dot jersey, leader of the best climber classification
2021 and 2020
White jersey for the best young rider
2023, 2022, 2021 and 2020
Pink jersey for the overall winner
2024
Blue jersey of the winner of the mountain stages
2024

Tadej Pogačar’s other top achievements

See a selection of Tadej Pogačar’s most prominent achievements at international races and at Tour of Slovenia.

bronze medal in road racing
2023
bronze Olympic medal in road racing
2021
The first Slovenian to win a Tour de France stage
2023, 2022
La Vuelta - 3rd place in overall rankings
2019
Two-time winner of Tour of Slovenia
2022 and 2021
 

Overall wins at other races

  • Race Liege−Bastogne−Liege (2024, 2021)
  • Strade Bianche (2024)
  • Volta a Catalunya (2024)
  • Race Paris–Nice (2023)
  • Giro di Lombardia (2023, 2022, 2021)
  • Race from the Tyrrhenian to the Adriatic Sea (2022, 2021)
  • Tour of Valencia (2020)
  • Volta ao Algarve (Portugal) (2019)
  • Tour of California (2019)
Source: STA

Cyclist for great races

The epic duel between Tadej Pogačar and Primož Roglič during the 2020 Tour de France, crowned by the double victory of the Slovenian cyclists, was a major milestone in the history of Slovenian cycling. Apart from individual stage victories, no Slovenian had managed to win the prestigious race until then. The success of the outstanding “Pogi” and “Rogla” in this race triggered an avalanche of new cycling accomplishments for Slovenia – a year later, Tadej again took the yellow jersey of the overall winner of the Tour (2021), while Roglič became the king of the Vuelta a España with three consecutive victories. And then, to add to these triumphs, came the Giro d’Italia. Roglič was the first Slovenian cyclist to take the pink jersey of the overall winner of the Tour of Italy in 2023, and Pogačar repeated his success a year later. And this happened in style, as he beat his rivals by almost 10 minutes, and he also became one of the only three cyclists in the last 40 years to have won more than five stages of the Giro.

In addition to the biggest heroes of Slovenian cycling, other Slovenian cyclists also started earning stage victories in the three-week Grand Tour races: Luka Mezgec, Jan Polanc, Jan Tratnik and Matej Mohorič, who won the overall team victory with Team Bahrain Victorious at the Tour de France in 2021.

VIDEO: “These landscapes shaped the way I cycle.”

“These landscapes shaped the way I cycle,” he says with an ever-smiling expression on his face. The story of “Pogi star”, as often nicknamed, is a story of remarkable energy, team spirit and astonishing natural beauties found in Slovenia – few countries can compare in terms of natural diversity, which makes Slovenia one of Europe’s most astonishing natural playgrounds. Sports is what unites us here and Slovenian athletes are the greatest ambassadors. This video brings you closer to this remarkable energy, which is felt by Tadej Pogačar while riding along the most impressive and demanding cycling routes in Slovenia, among them also the road to the Vršič mountain pass, which reaches an elevation of 1,611 meters and has 50 numbered hairpin bends like the famous Tour de France climb to Alpe d’Huez. “This is my way of freedom”, he concludes.

portret Tadej Pogačar

From football to cycling

Sport is in Slovenians’ blood. It would be difficult to list all the successes that Slovenian athletes have had. We are inspired by our wonderful green environment, so it is not surprising that the majority of Slovenians love outdoor sports activities perceiving them as something obvious. This is how Tadej Pogačar began his sports career. With a ball on the pitch. As a child, he played football in his hometown near Kamnik at the foot of Velika Planina, and he was quite talented. He got into cycling when his older brother started training with the Rog Ljubljana cycling club and a little later he joined the club as "Little Pogi". Already as a boy he was included in the national cycling team, where he continually achieved good results. He was noticed by the UAE team, with whom he signed in July 2018. Since 2019 he has been racing at the highest level of cycling worldwide.

Source: STA

Sprint to the cycling throne

One could say of Tadej Pogačar that he is a cycling prodigy. He crowned his debut among the cycling elite at the Volta a Portugal in 2019 with a victory. At the 2019 Vuelta a España, where Primož Roglič scored the first overall victory in a Grand Tour race for Slovenia, Pogačar was already on the podium (in third place). He gave early notice of his winning streak in the 2020 season with an overall victory at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana. The prestigious Tour de France was only the crème de la crème of his sprint to the world cycling Olympus. Pogačar was not just a one-hit wonder – a year later he again took the yellow jersey of the winner of the Tour, and in the 2022 season he narrowly missed out on a third title of best cyclist in the race around France. He also has an Olympic bronze medal from Tokyo in his collection.

In the 2024 season, Pogačar achieved his childhood dream – by competing in the Giro d’Italia, a race he knew well as it takes place close to Slovenia. He was there in Trieste in 2014 as a fan when Luka Mezgec earned the first stage victory at the Giro for Slovenia. Pogi proved that the Italian cycling routes suit him well by claiming a decisive overall victory and by having rung up six stage wins, a feat accomplished only by a few cyclists in the Tour of Italy.

Pogi also likes to compete at home. He took part in the Tour of Slovenia in 2021 and 2022 and scored decisive victories both times.

Feel Slovenia the Podcast #8: Cycling in Slovenia with Tour de France Champion Tadej Pogačar

What does Slovenia have that other giants don't?

While enjoying the epic achievements of Slovenian cyclists and other top athletes, many of you might ask yourselves, what does this nation of 2 million have so that it can shine on all sport stages? Well, we could discuss this for hours. But we can point out a few reasons for the success of sport in Slovenia.

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Love on a bicycle

Tadej is not just passionate about cycling. He also found the love of his life on a bicycle. His fiancée, Urška Žigart, is also an excellent road cyclist. In an effort to obtain a World Tour licence, she entered into a partnership with the Italian team Alé Cipollini in 2019 and competed under the joint name Alé BTC Ljubljana. She is currently competing for the Australian Liv AlUla Jayco. In 2020, she won the national time trial championship. It seems that Tadej’s success and her change of team have had a positive effect on the 24-year-old cyclist from Slovenska Bistrica, as she achieved her first notable victory in international races in 2021 winning the last stage of the Tour of Valencia. Urška is also one of the three Slovenian cyclists who competed in the first edition of the Women's Tour (2022).

Slovenia – the land of champions

Slovenia is a true phenomenon in sporting success. Our athletes achieve great things and win medals in numerous sports. In terms of sporting achievements per capita, Slovenia certainly belongs at the very top in the world. This is why it’s not surprising that sport in Slovenia was honoured with its own national holiday.

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Places where Tadej Pogačar grew up

Meet the places beneath the mighty peaks of the he Kamnik-Savinja Alps, where Tadej Pogačar grew up. Discover the beauty of the Alpine landscape, the Velika Planina pastures, the medieval town of Kamnik and a number of other interesting sights in the area surrounding Pogačar's birthplace Klanec near Komenda.

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Around Slovenia like Pogi

After taking part in major international road cycling races around the world, Tadej Pogačar likes to ride around his beloved Slovenia. Of course, he prefers to do it in company. Would you like to know what his favourite cycling tours are? Take a look at his selection of the best cycling experiences and they might inspire you, too.

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Are you feeling buzzed from cycling euphoria?

Unleash it by going on a cycling trip around green Slovenia, across the picturesque landscape, on the asphalt or across the ridges and slopes, through charming towns and villages. There are more than enough possibilities.

10 reasons why you should go cycling around Slovenia

Slovenia is a paradise for cyclists. Cycling is one of the most popular activities among Slovenians. The successes of Slovenian cyclists at top cycling races additionally boost the enthusiasm for cycling. The diverse landscape is the perfect venue for all kinds of cycling – road to mountain cycling, family cycling or long-distance challenges. Discover more reasons why it is worth visiting Slovenia by bike.

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10 reasons why you should go cycling around Slovenia

10 reasons why you should go cycling around Slovenia

Slovenia is a paradise for cyclists. Cycling is one of the most popular activities among Slovenians. The successes of Slovenian cyclists at top cycling races additionally boost the enthusiasm for cycling. The diverse landscape is the perfect venue for all kinds of cycling – road to mountain cycling, family cycling or long-distance challenges. Discover more reasons why it is worth visiting Slovenia by bike.

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Cycling among vineyards

Cycling among vineyards

Enjoy the charms of Slovenia’s wine-growing regions by bike. Take a ride among vineyards and wine cellars. Regain your strength by treating yourself to some delicious local cuisine.

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Cross-country cycling

Cross-country cycling

If you like to conquer steep slopes or descend along forest trails, you will find many reasons to be excited in Slovenia. Diverse paths lead to magnificent views and picturesque valleys.

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Explore towns by bike

Explore towns by bike

Choose the greenest way to explore Slovenian towns. Many towns have bicycle rental systems in place. You can also join guided bike tours offering a different urban life experience.

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Do you have a competitive spirit?

Do you have a competitive spirit?

Join one of Slovenia’s many recreational cycling events – from the Franja Marathon cycling "celebration", to the retro experience of conquering the Vršič Pass on a legendary Pony bicycle. Or just cheer for professional cyclists competing in prestigious races.

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Active in Slovenia? Nothing easier than that!

In Slovenia, it is difficult to find an excuse that there is nothing to do. Seniors or young people can ride a bike, either a traditional one or an E-bike. You can explore Slovenia on foot – front, back, left, and right. Or you indulge in more adrenaline-pumping adventures.

On-road biking

Road biking is very common in Slovenia. Numerous trails run on various terrains in a clean natural environment.

On-road biking

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Slovenia – top hiking destination

Hiking in Slovenia rules! Find out why.

Slovenia – top hiking destination

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Long-distance trails

Long-distance trails run across mountain peaks, through valleys, all the way to the sea.

Long-distance trails

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Explore the green destinations of Slovenia by e-bike

Discover green Slovenia in a simple and sustainable way – by e-bike.

Explore the green destinations of Slovenia by e-bike

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Top reasons to visit Slovenia for adrenaline junkies

In need of adrenaline-filled adventures? Choose your favourite!

Top reasons to visit Slovenia for adrenaline junkies

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The most beautiful biking trails

Pick an unforgettable cycling experience on some of the most beautiful trails.

The most beautiful biking trails

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