06 Jul 2021, 14:58 PM

STA, 6 July 2021 - Slovenia will host the third Half Ironman race on 19 September, the Ironman 70.3 Slovenian Istria. The organisers expect about 1,200 competitors from 50 countries. The race was called off last year due to coronavirus, this year they expect to go ahead with a number of measures to protect the health of the racers.

Race director Milan Eržen told the press on Tuesday that it remained unclear what kind of restrictions will have to be observed in two months. "We'll do everything to provide maximum safety for the competitors and all those involved."

The race features a 1,900-metre swim leg, followed by a 90-kilometre loop by bicycle around Istria and a 21.3-kilometre run, mostly along the coast.

Jure Leben, the head of the Slovenian Triathlon Association, said the organisers were keen on making this a top-level event that will also serve as an inspiration for recreational triathletes in Slovenia.

You can learn more and register here

04 Jul 2021, 21:04 PM

STA, 4 July 2021 - The Slovenian national basketball team will compete in the Tokyo Olympics after NBA star Luka Dončič led the team to a 96:85 win against Lithuania in the final of a qualifying tournament on Sunday.

Dončič scored a triple double with 31 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds. Vlatko Čančar added 18 points and Jaka Blažič 16.

Slovenia heads to Tokyo with a 4:0 record in the qualifying tournament, having defeated Angola, Poland, Venezuela and now Lithuania, a European basketball titan.

Indeed, this will be the first time after 1992 that Lithuania does not compete in the Olympic games.

In Tokyo Slovenia will play in group C alongside Spain, Argentina and Japan. The first game, against Argentina, is scheduled for 29 July.

04 Jul 2021, 14:00 PM

STA, 4 July 2021 - Slovenia's Janja Garnbret continues to excel at this year's climbing World Cup, having won her fourth event this season in Villars, Switzerland on Saturday, which raises hope for the Tokyo Olympics, where she will be the country's main contender for gold.

"My first impression after the event are great. I can't remember the last time I climbed all four routes at an event. I think it was a truly perfect weekend. I enjoyed myself, and felt good," said Garnbret, adding she was happy with her performance, including her speed.

"I broke my personal speed record, going under eight seconds for the first time, and got yet another confirmation in the difficulty level, which is a great sign for Tokyo," she said.

Out of the eight finalists in Villars, four were Slovenian. Vita Lukan was fifth, and Lučka Rakovec and Mia Krampl sevenths and eight, respectively.

Italian Laura Rogora was second and Natalia Grossman from the US was third.

Garnbret will not compete in the next two World Cup events in Chamonix and Briancon, France, to prepare for the Olympics. "I look forward to just being home the last three weeks before the Olympics, training, working on the details, so I'm looking forward to leaving for Tokyo and competing at the Olympics," said Slovenia's best climber.

04 Jul 2021, 13:19 PM

STA, 4 July 2021 - Slovenian cycling star Primož Roglič has decided to leave Tour de France early due to injuries he sustained in early stages of the race, his Dutch team Jumbo-Visma said on its website.

The 31-year-old Roglič, last year's Tour de France runner-up and the winner of Tour of Spain, suffered two falls in stages one and three of the Tour.

He continued to race despite the injuries and pain, but after finishing 35 minutes behind the winner on Saturday, the leadership of his team decided he would not continue. The race was won by Slovenian rider Tadej Pogačar, who has taken the overall lead at the race.

"We have made the decision on the departure together. In these circumstance, it would be pointless to continue," Roglič said. "My priority now is to recover and focus on new goals. I'm very disappointed that I have to leave the caravan at the Tour but I remain an optimist and focussed on the future."

If Roglič recovers in time, he could still compete at the Tokyo Olympics. He is to compete there at a road race on 24 July and at a time trial four days later.

Despite a two-month absence from racing, Roglič came to the Tour as one of the top contenders for victory next to Pogačar, but his hopes were crushed by the two falls early in the race.

The first fall was caused by a woman holding a sign out in front of the cyclists, resulting in a massive pile-up. Roglič injured his shoulder in the fall.

In stage three, he fell in the finish of a quick race in narrow streets, injuring his behind, which made it difficult for him to sit on the bicycle.

In stage five, Roglič did well in the time trial, finishing seventh, 44 seconds behind Pogačar, but in the challenging stages seven and eight he fell behind, losing all hope for an overall victory.

The race will continue today with stage nine from Cluses to Tignes.

03 Jul 2021, 17:48 PM

STA, 3 July - Slovenian rider Tadej Pogačar has taken the overall lead at Tour de France after an individual attack that secured him the second place in the 150.8-km, eighth stage of the prestigious race from Oyonnax to Le Grand-Bornand on Saturday.

The member of UAE Team Emirates broke off from all competitors for the yellow jersey 30 kilometres ahead of the finish line to cross it second only to Dylan Teuns of Belgium.

It was a second stage win in a row at Tour de France for a Slovenian after Friday's win in stage seven by Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious).

The 22-year-old reigning Tour de France champion now has an advantage of 1 minute and 48 seconds ahead of Belgium's Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and more than four minutes and a half ahead of Alexey Lutsenko of Kazakhstan (Astana-Premier Tech).

"The beginning was very demanding, there were cyclists everywhere, all of them wanting to break off. At the end I felt good in this weather, which suits me well," Pogačar said about the rainy and cold weather.

"Ahead of the last climbs, I told my team mates that I wanted to beak off the race and we managed to do it. I'm really happy with the outcome," added the new overall leader.

The remaining Slovenians fell significantly behind, including last year's Tour de France runner-up Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma), who is struggling with injuries sustained in falls in the early stages of the race.

He crossed the finish line 35 minutes behind the winner, while Mohorič was better by some six minutes than Roglič.

02 Jul 2021, 17:29 PM

STA, 2 July 2021 - Slovenia's Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious) won stage 7 of the Tour de France from La Vierzon to Le Creusot on Friday and took the polka dot jersey for the best climber. Defending champion Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) lost some ground.

Mohorič won the longest stage of this year's tour, at 259 kilometres, in a getaway group of 29 riders and now places fourth in the overall rankings, 3:09 minutes behind the Dutch race leader Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin Fenix).

"I knew yesterday that today could be a good day... Until the final moment I could not believe what I have achieved," Mohorič said after earning his third stage win in the Grand Tour races (he also has wins in Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a Espana).

Pogačar is now fifth, 3:43 minutes behind, but the climbing specialist is counting on the upcoming hilly section of the race to make his move.

"This was really a difficult stage. Very difficult... The next two days will be hard as well, but we can still be optimistic about the next two weeks," the defending champion told TV Slovenija.

Last year's runner-up Primož Roglič, badly bruised in a crash in the first stage, lost a lot of ground and is now outside the top 30 with a gap of more than nine minutes.

01 Jul 2021, 10:19 AM

STA, 30 June 2021 - Slovenian cycling star Tadej Pogačar won stage five of the Tour de France race on Wednesday. Last year's winner of the Tour was 19 seconds faster than Stefan Küng from Switzerland in the 27.2-kilometre individual time trial between Changé and Laval Espace Mayenne. Slovenia's other star, Primož Roglič, was 44 seconds behind, finishing seventh.

Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) started stage five 39 seconds behind Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) from the Netherlands and finished it with the 26th victory of his career and his fourth time trial victory.

He was eight seconds too slow for the yellow jersey, which remained in the hands of der Poel.

Küng was surprisingly followed by Denmark's Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) in third place.

"That has been a truly good day for me. I did not make any mistakes and the weather was perfect for me too," said the 22-year-old Pogačar told the organisers after the race, adding that he was looking forward to the rest of the Tour.

Roglič, who is recovering from falls in the first three stages, showed he is in great shape today and finished seventh. "Quite simply, I'm grateful that I'm even here. Then you just try to give your best. As long as we are here, there is hope. Better times can always come," the 31-year-old Roglič told public broadcaster RTV Slovenija.

Cyclists will next take on a 160.6-kilometre plain route from Tours to Chateauroux on Thursday.

New 7-Stage 290-km Cycling Trail Opens in Julian Alps

22 Jun 2021, 14:12 PM

STA, 22 June 2021 - The Slovenian women's basketball team have been knocked out of the FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2021 in France with a defeat against Russia (93:75) in the quarter-finals qualification.

For the second time in a row, the Slovenian women's basketball team leaves EuroBasket Women after the additional qualification rounds.

In 2019, they were stopped by Belgium in Belgrade, and this year they finished the tournament in Strasbourg with two wins and two losses.

After defeating Slovenia yesterday, Russia will now play Belgium in the quarter-finals. The other three pairs are Belarus-Sweden, France-Bosnia and Serbia-Spain.

The Slovenian team will have another chance to improve on their achievements in two years' time on home court, as the 39th European Women Basketball Championship will be held in Slovenia.

Slovenia improved on the results compared to the previous tournament in Serbia, but this time, after two good performances against Turkey and Bosnia-Herzegovina, the team also put up two very poor showings, as Belgium beat them by 35 points and Russia by 18.

Yesterday's match against Russia was practically already decided in the first half. After a bad start, Slovenia continued to do even worse.

Their opponents grabbed ten offensive rebounds in the first quarter and easily built up a 15-point lead, and at one point the Russians were up 46:19.

In the second half, the balance of power remained the same. The Russians had the game in their hands, and the difference did not go below 20 points, except for a few short minutes.

Russia won the rebounding battle 41:31, had 28 assists, hit 13 threes and had four players in double figures. Shante Evans (21 points, 8 rebounds, 7/9 shooting) and Eva Lisec (19 points, 7 rebounds, 6/10 shooting) scored the most points for Slovenia.

Slovenia's head coach Damir Grgić said after the match: 'I would like to congratulate my players for fighting until the end, but today we were simply too weak for Russia. They were a much better opponent, they took advantage of everything we don't have."

"Now it is time for analysis. We must keep our heads up - in two years' time, this generation will have a new opportunity. This is still a young team that can play at least one more Olympic cycle together. I am proud of them and their work," added Grgič.

The team captain Nika Barič also spoke after the game: "The Russians dictated the rhythm from the first minute. We allowed ourselves too many mistakes, especially in defence. Congratulations to Russia for the win, and all credit to my teammates for fighting until the last second."

13 Jun 2021, 16:35 PM

STA, 13 June 2021 - Slovenia's Tadej Pogačar has won the Tour of Slovenia, the country's biggest cycling road race, after defending the leading position in the final stage from Ljubljana to Novo Mesto on Sunday.

This marks the 25th career victory for the 22-year-old UAE Team Emirates rider, who won last year's Tour de France.

"We're really happy. This was a well prepared race and we had loads of fun," Pogačar said.

After a short break, he will compete in the national championship before heading to France.

"We'll see if my form picks up a bit more, for now I feel quite okay. We'll see in a couple of weeks," said Pogačar, who is considered the top favourite at the Tour de France.

The German Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious) won the final, 175-kilometre stage, after he had already claimed the opening stage.

Pogačar secured the win in the second stage, which ended with a climb to Celje Castle.

In the final rankings, Pogačar finished one minute and 21 seconds ahead of last year's winner, the Italian Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) and his compatriot Matteo Sobrero (Astana-Premier Tech), who was a further 14 seconds adrift.

Two more Slovenians were in the top ten. Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious) finished seventh and Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates) was ninth.

- Tour of Slovenia, final standings:
 1. Tadej Pogačar (Slo/UAE Team Emirates)         15 h 11:26
 2. Diego Ulissi (Ita/UAE Team Emirates)                1:21
 3. Matteo Sobrero (Ita/Astana-Premier Tech)            1:35
 4. Rafal Majka (Pol/UAE Team Emirates)                 2:08
 5. James Shaw (UK/Ribble Weldtite)                     2:29
 6. Tanel Kangert (Est/BikeExchange)                    2:34
 7. Matej Mohorič (Slo/Bahrain Victorious)              2:39
 8. Giovanni Carboni (Ita/Bardiani-CSF-Faizane)         2:46
 9. Jan Polanc (Slo/UAE Team Emirates)                  3:21
10. Jonathan Lastra (Spa/Caja Rural-Seguros RGA         4:45
12 Jun 2021, 16:08 PM

STA, 12 June 2021 - Italy's Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) won the fourth stage of the 27th Tour of Slovenia on Saturday. Slovenia's Tadej Pogačar, also a rider of UAE Team Emirates, was second and is expected to win the race tomorrow.

Third place went to Matteo Sobrero of Italy (Astana).

The 164.1 km-long hilly stage of the race took place in the west of Slovenia, running from Ajdovščina to Nova Gorica. It featured steep challenges such as the concluding climb to Sveta Gora above Nova Gorica (2.5 km/13%), during which the winner was decided.

In overall rankings, Pogačar, who will soon defend his Tour de France title, is in the lead, followed by his teammate Ulissi, whom it seemed he did not want to beat today, and Sobrero. Slovenia's Matej Mohorič (Team Bahrain Victorious) has fallen from second place to seventh.

The final and the longest stage of the race will be held tomorrow, taking the riders from Ljubljana to Novo Mesto. The start of the stage will coincide with another major Slovenian cycling event - the amateur Franja Marathon, which also kicks off in Ljubljana.

11 Jun 2021, 17:50 PM

STA, 11 June 2021 - The Spaniard Jon Aberasturi (Caja Rural) won the third stage of the Tour of Slovenia road cycling race from Brežice to Krško on Friday, while Slovenia's Tadej Pogačar, the reigning Tour de France champion, kept the overall lead.

In the final sprint of the 165.8-kilometre stage, Aberasturi beat the second placed Slovenian Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious).

After three out of the five stages, Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) still has a significant overall lead on Mohorič and this team-mate Diego Ulissi of Italy.

On Saturday, the participants of the race around Slovenia are in for a stage between Ajdovščina and Nova Gorica (164.1 km).

It will take them for five categorised climbs, including the concluding climb to Sveta Gora above Nova Gorica (2.5 km/13%).

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