Tadej Pogačar is the winner of the prestigious Velo d’Or award for the best cyclist in the world in 2021. Slovenia’s success was completed by Primož Roglič with second place, while the third place went to Belgian Wout van Aert. Slovenski uspeh je z drugim mestom dopolnil Primož Roglič, tretje pa je zasedel Belgijec Wout van Aert.
The Velo d’Or is cycling’s equivalent to football’s Ballon d’Or and is awarded by Vélo Magazine along with French newspaper L’Equipe and Tour de France organiser ASO.
The voting for the prestigious Velo d’Or, which has been awarded to the cyclist with the best season since 1992, resulted in the same three cyclists taking the podium as the year before. Slovenian stars Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) and Primož Roglič (Jumbo Visma) swapped places with Tadej taking the top spot, while Belgian Wout van Aert (Jumbo Visma) repeated his last year’s ranking. Slovenska zvezdnika Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) in Primož Roglič (Jumbo Visma) sta zamenjala svoji mesti, medtem ko je Belgijec Wout van Aert (Jumbo Visma) ponovil svojo lansko uvrstitev.
It is no doubt that Pogačar had a season for the ages – 13 wins, TdF, 2 monuments and an Olympic medal. For the first time in his career, the 23-year-old finished the season at the top of the UCI Rankings. The young cycling ace from Klanac near Komenda won the Tour de France for the second time in a row this season. At the same time, he became part of an extremely elite group of cyclists (Eddy Merckx, Fausto Coppi and Tadej Pogačar), who won two cycling monuments and Tour de France in the same season. In the 2021 season, Tadej tasted the sweetness of winning the Liege-Bastogne-Liege and the Tour of Lombardy – two out of five greatest one-day classics in the world, also known as cycling monuments. He also left his mark at the Olympic Games in Tokyo by taking home the Bronze medal in Road Race under Mount Fuji and therefore becoming the first Olympic medalist in the history of Slovenian cycling.
In the historic year 2021, Tadej racked up a total of 13 victories (career total of 30 wins) placing himself at the very top spot in the total season wins category.
In addition to Pogačar, Roglič and van Aert, the competition also included Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe, Dane Kasper Asgreen, Colombian Egan Bernal, Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz, British Mark Cavendish, Italian Sonny Colbrelli, Dutchman Harrie Lavreysen, Mathieu van der Poel and Annemiek van Vleuten.