At the conclusions of the races at Lake Cancano and in Malaga Montasio we noticed an UAE Emirates jersey among the spectators; at the other stages we saw a young man with a poster and large lungs who was loudly cheering in the style of a perfect fan. Who are we talking about? Was it an ordinary cycling fan? Not at all, this was Tadej Pogačar, a rising star in the cycling world, who cheered for his fiancée Urška Žigart on the roads of the Giro Rosa Iccrea race.
This new professional cyclist, member of the UAE Emirates team, is racing his first season in the top category this year and already recorded four successful races, for example the overall victory at the races Volta ao Algarve and Tour of California. At the age of 20 he became the youngest winner in the World Tour category. For the last few days he has been following the main women’s international cycling race. “I had some free time so with my friend we decided to go and cheer for my girlfriend and her team BTC City Ljubljana. It means a lot to her that I am here, and I like it,« says Tadej, showing me a homemade poster with the Slovenian words »Gremo Urška!« (Go Urška!)
Tadej and Urška met at preparations in Poreč, Croatia, two years and a half ago, when they were competing for the same team. They instantly liked each other, but officially they have been an item for only one year. “I like women’s cycling, because it is very exciting to follow, but unfortunately the Giro is not being directly broadcast on TV. I have my bicycle here, but these days I don’t train much. It is almost more exhausting to follow the races as a fan – if you race, you work hard on the bicycle, while you don’t need to take care of the transfers and all. With Urška we don’t see much of each other because she needs to maintain her concentration and stay with her team, but I am very happy to be here and support her.« The next race for both of them will be in San Sebastian.