Tadej Pogačar once again shone in all his glory and defended his victory in the race of all races. He managed to repeat the success of 2020 to a large extend, as he once again celebrated 3 stage victories and won as many as 3 winning jerseys. With his second consecutive victory, he became the youngest two-time winner of the Tour de France in the 118-year history of the world’s most prestigious cycling race.
Tadej Pogačar wrote a new chapter in the fairy tale of Slovenian cycling. Unlike last year, when he won a yellow jersey after a historic comeback on the last day of competition, this year the story was quite different. The undisputed captain of the UAE Team Emirates had this year’s race largely under control after stage 8, when he gained a huge advantage over main rivals in the general classification with an epic attack in the rain over the Romme and Colombiere mountain passes. Outstanding attack in the Alps resulted in Pogačar gaining possession of the yellow jersey which he never let go of.
From the very beginning, it was clear that Tadej is aiming for the top. It started with a dominant victory in stage 5 Time Trial, continued in the Alps, and reached the peak in the Pyrenees, where he displayed his supremacy by winning back-to-back mountain stages 17 and 18.
In the 108th edition of the Tour de France, Pogačar repeated the success from the year before, celebrating 3 stage victories and at the same time winning 3 jerseys:
- Yellow – overall winner
- Polka dot – best climber / “King of the Mountains”
- White – best young rider
In the fight for the overall victory, he outshined the entire competition, beating his nearest rival in the general classification by more than 5 minutes, so there was no shortage of praise on his behalf. With his second consecutive victory, he became the youngest two-time winner of the Tour de France in the 118-year history of this race. An impressive achievement suggesting that Tadej Pogačar is on a path to enter the history books as one of the most successful individuals in cycling history.
After the ceremony, the winner addressed everyone present on the Champs Elysees and elsewhere in the world with the following words:
“Last year, I should have written a speech for my first Tour de France victory but I didn’t know how to write it. Also, this year, I said ‘OK, I’m going to speak from the heart and just say what I have to say”
“Thanks to everyone who supported us for three weeks. Thanks to the French public, to all the cycling fans around the world. It was a fantastic race on this year’s amazing Tour route”
“After last year I came back with such a great team, UAE Team Emirates… Thank you guys! Thank you very much. I cannot describe how happy I am to be a part of this family. It melts my heart. They were with me every day all year preparing for the Tour. I’m just super happy and proud to be a part of this team and this journey.”
“I cannot forget my family standing beside me, my girlfriend and my friends. I hope I have said enough. I am super happy. Thank you all.”