Where do I even start writing? Or better yet, what did I write last time? I don’t know, probably something before the race around France. Everything that has happened from then until now, seems to me, took place in a matter of minutes. What have I already said, how many journalistic questions have I already answered, how many interviews have I had… I don’t know, a lot, really a lot, but given the general “covid crisis” probably less than if we lived normally ». Is all this difficult and unnecessary for me? No, it’s not, it’s part of it, and I understand that well, you just have to get well organized and sort things out a little bit by day, and it goes by fine. You followed the race around France and you may have seen even more than the rider himself who is in the race sees. The media also covered the race well (also in Slovenian), and informed you well about everything, so there is no need to repeat that.
And what happened after the conclusion in Paris?
I travelled north to my last race of the season, the classic Liege-Bastogne-Liege, where I also did very well, and in the final sprint, where Alaphilippe almost knocked me off my bike at the end took an excellent 3rd place, and thus my first podium on the “classics”. From there, Urška and I returned to Monaco after a long time and stayed there for a few days, and then we also visited the family in Slovenia for a few days. We also drove a bit on Slovenian roads, but it was not “training”, more post-season relaxation on a bike in the company of good friends. In fact, in the meantime, I was waiting for the team to decide whether we would travel to the “bosses” in Dubai for a meeting with sponsors, or for a business gathering, as they would call it. In the end, they cancelled everything because of Covid, but Urška and I took this opportunity, which we were offered, and went to Dubai for a week-long vacation. Pleasant warm weather and the sea were perfect for enjoying a well-deserved vacation and disconnecting from everyday obligations. I can say that this week was just right for me, and we really had a good time. I rested both my head and my body. We returned to Monaco from Dubai, where, after a week’s break, I started “moving” again.
We stayed there for a good week and then headed to Slovenia. We had some more commitments along the way. So we first stopped for two days in Varese, home of Urška’s new team Michelton Scott. Here Urška had a “training camp” with the new team. I used these two days to visit our “base” and attended a few sponsorship events. I also visited the DMT production plant, where I was introduced to the entire process of making cycling shoes. They also introduced me to “my” new DMT sprinters “KR TdF Tadej Pogačar Limited Edition”. I also did some interviews and other sponsorship matters here (taking photos, signing…). I took the next day to visit the Colnago headquarters. Here I met the owner of the company, Ernesto Colnago, who was very happy with my visit. The company prepared a press conference, which was attended by all major Italian media. I donated my yellow winning bike, which I rode around Paris, to the COLNAGO Museum, which has exhibits of cycling legends from the past. It also had my signature on it.
Everyone present was visibly “moved” by this, as it was Colnago’s first bike to win the Tour. In the end, I returned to Varese for Urška, and we continued our journey towards Slovenia late in the evening. After coming home, it was necessary to return to training. The weather was still fine for the first few days otherwise, the temperatures were much lower than those on the Cote d’Azur, but when it got a little worse and cooled, we drove towards Primorska and did training there. But because the forecast did not promise anything good, we decided to return to Monaco, as conditions there are significantly better at this time.
We are now in Monaco, where I am slowly preparing for next season. The weather conditions are currently favourable and I can do all the training outside on a bike, unlike in Slovenia, where you have snow, and I couldn’t do that there. Due to the general “corona situation”, I also do not know exactly how the joint preparations will be taking place at the end of the year or at the beginning of the next.
In short. Thank you all for the cheering, many messages, congratulations and best wishes. This motivates me even more. Stay healthy and take care.
Photo: BettiniPhoto©2020 and personal archive