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Pogačar Clinches First Slovenian Road Race Gold Following TT Victory

By Monica Buck

Slovenian superstar Tadej Pogačar outperformed Luka Mezgec on the final climb to clinch his inaugural victory in the Slovenian elite road race, adding another feather to his already illustrious cap.

Preceding this, Pogačar had delivered an impressive performance at the Slovenian Time Trial Championships, ensuring another victory. This win in the road race marks the 60th of his career, and the 14th for this season.

As a result of this recent victory, Pogačar is set to commence the forthcoming Tour de France donned in the Slovenian national road champion’s jersey. Additionally, he will be seen in the corresponding time trial maillot during the 16th stage of the race.

The initial stages of the Slovenian road race saw a determined Pogačar launching an attack in the first hour itself. The challenging, hilly, 157-kilometre course was based in the north-western town of Radovljica.

Mezgec was the sole contender who could keep pace with Pogačar’s attack, helping the duo establish a significant lead over Matej Mohorič of Bahrain Victorious and Matevz Govekar, who ultimately secured bronze.

With a lead of over four minutes and just fifteen kilometres left to the finish line, Pogačar outpaced Mezgec on the final climb. The Slovenian cyclist crossed the finish line a clear 38 seconds ahead of his former breakaway partner and almost five minutes ahead of Mohorič.

Pogačar’s recent triumph reaffirms his exceptional form, demonstrating an effective recovery from a wrist fracture sustained in a crash at the Liège-Bastogne-Liège. He is now poised for the upcoming Tour de France, where he is the defending champion from 2020 and 2021. The race is set to commence in Bilbao on Saturday, July 1st.