Tadej Pogačar’s victory will go down in the history of Slovenian cycling with golden letters, and his incredible achievement resonates with the world cycling public also because the king of the Tour de France not only took home the yellow T-shirt, but three of the four prestigious T-shirts! In addition to yellow, which has a diamond shine for Slovenian cycling and sports history, he was also awarded with polka dot T-shirt and white T-shirt – and thus gave himself the most beautiful present for his 22nd birthday.
“I still can’t believe what beautiful moments I experienced in this race! Just competing on the Tour was a dream for me, let alone standing on the top step in a yellow T-shirt!”
The “yellow gift” was waiting for Pogačar before Sunday’s, ie the last stage of the Tour, as the bicycle manufacturer Colnago prepared a frame for him overnight in the most beautiful colour of the Tour de France – in yellow, of course. The gift was well deserved. Over the past three weeks, he has shown remarkable readiness and an epic performance that will resonate for a long time to come. He started the last stage, which is traditionally more relaxed, with a 59-second advantage over his compatriot Primož Roglič, with whom they encouraged each other throughout the three-week adventure.
The entire sports world is bowing to Tadej Pogačar’s achievement, and Slovenia will be sailing on the wave of enthusiasm of his success for some time to come. Another inspiring story for many was an extremely sporty relationship and friendship between the two main protagonists of this year’s Race. Primož Roglič and Tadej Pogačar proved with their heart that it is possible to combine rivalry and friendship. As a result, they hugged part of the way to the Champs Elysees and chatted in a relaxed manner. At the finish line, in addition to many fans and high-ranking French and Slovenian guests, their family members were also cheering for them.
“It was a long journey, which started long before the start in Nice, and ended in the most beautiful way possible. I have been focused on the Tour de France since the beginning of the year, the preparations went perfectly and were perfectly planned by the UAE Emirates. We also trained excellently with the UAE team at training camps. Even during the closure due to the virus, I stayed focused and came to the Tour de France in good shape. We lost two members of the team on the way to Paris, but we still managed to maintain a good atmosphere in the team. For me, it was a pleasure to experience all that the Tour had to offer, from staying focused and calm to being aggressive at crucial moments. I still can’t believe what beautiful moments I experienced! Just racing the Tour was a dream, let alone standing on the top step in a yellow jersey. Today is a great day for me, it was nice to relax chatting with other riders and accept congratulations. Cycling is a beautiful sport.” This was Tadej Pogačar’s statement at the end of the Race, after becoming the first cyclist in 37 years to conquer the Tour on his first attempt.
The final stage of the Tour was won by Sam Bennett, who is also a green jersey holder. Pogačar finished the stage safely in the united peloton with Primož Roglič and Jan Polanc.
Photo: Sprint Cycling Agency