STA, 17 June 2022 - Slovenian rider Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) won the third stage of the Tour of Slovenia on Friday in what was a fierce attack before the finishing line. The world No.1 cyclist now leads in the race's overall standings. His teammate, Poland's Rafal Majka, was second and Italy's Nicola Conci (Alpecin Fenix) finished third.
The win was a repeat of last year's feat when Pogačar won stage two of the Slovenian race by showcasing all the tricks of the trade. Both last year and this year he attacked some 20 kilometres before the finishing line during a steep ascent, the only difference being that today he was chased by Majka.
The Polish rider won stage one on Wednesday and was leading in the overall standings until Pogačar's latest stage win. Slovenia's Domen Novak (Bahrain-Victorious) currently ranks third overall.
In what was another highlight of today's stage, Slovenia's Luka Mezgec (Team BikeExchange - Jayco) finished fourth.
"I gave it my all," Pogačar told the public broadcaster RTV Slovenija after the win.
Pogačar's and Majka's cycling team, UAE Team Emirates, said today that two of their riders had tested positive for coronavirus, including Denmark's Mikkel Bjerg, who had been competing in the Slovenian race and has since pulled out of it. His room-mate, Norway's Vegard Stake Laengen, has also waved goodbye to the competition under a precautionary measure taken by UAE Team Emirates.
Other riders and staff in the team, including Pogačar, have tested negative for now.
On Saturday, the 152 km queens stage will take the riders from Laško in the east to Velika Planina in the north.
The Tour of Slovenia is the country's biggest road cycling race that has become a final competitive test before the Tour de France for many riders in recent years. Pogačar will be defending his two-time title at the 2022 Tour de France.