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