STA, 4 February 2020 - Cyclist Primož Roglič, the winner of the Tour of Spain, and world champion kayaker Eva Terčelj are the winners of the Bloudek Prizes for sporting achievements, the highest national awards for current and lifetime success in sports.
Having already been named Athlete of the Year by Slovenian sports journalists, Roglič, 30, was honoured by the state for the first ever victory by a Slovenian in one of the top cycling races in the world, the Vuelta, last year.
The same year he also finished third in the Giro d'Italia, another Grand Tour race, and three more major races. "Roglič proves again and again that he is a cycling champion," the jury said.
Terčelj, 28, secured the accolade among women for winning the K1 event at the Whitewater World Championship in September 2019, a career high that the jury pointed out also earned her a slot at the Tokyo Olympics this year.
Three lifetime achievement awards were also conferred as long-time Faculty of Sport professor Milan Žvan, swimming coach Vladimir Čermak and chess official Boris Kutin were honoured for decades-long careers in sports.
STA, 17 December - Cyclist Primož Roglič, sport climber Janja Garnbret and the men's national volleyball team are the winners of the main awards conferred by the Association of Sports Journalists as the 2019 Athlete of the Year ceremony was held in Ljubljana on Tuesday evening.
Roglič, who entered the world elite this year by finishing 3rd overall at the Giro d'Italia and winning the Vuelta a Espana to become the first Slovenian ever to win a Grand Tour race, scored 272 points from 105 Slovenian sport journalists.
All our stories on Roglič can be found here
He finished ahead of last year's winner of the Athlete of the Year award for men, basketball player Luka Dončić. The NBA Rookie of the Year received 200 points, while third place went to world motocross champion Tim Gajser (106).
The association noted that "in the fourth season among the elite, [Roglič] only upgraded his previous achievements" and ended the season as the first-ranked cyclist in the prestigious ProCyclingStats (PCS) raking.
Garnbret defended last year's title of the Athlete of the Year among women, winning 269 points ahead of Alpine skier Ilka Štuhec (208), the world downhill champion, and world slalom canoe champion Eva Terčelj (78).
In August, Garnbret won gold medals in bouldering, lead and the combined at the IFSC Climbing World Championships in Japan to become the first ever climber to complete a hat trick in a single championship.
"A majority of her achievements, which have already made history, come with a note that she was the first or youngest to make them," the sports journalist association said about the 20-year-old.
All our stories on Garnbret can be found here
In line with expectations, the Slovenian men's national volleyball team was declared the best team this year, winning 95 out of the possible 105 votes. The award comes after they won silver at the European Championships in September, co-hosted by Ljubljana.
"With their performances, they again unified the Slovenian nation by filling up the Stožice Arena and kept sport lovers in front of their television screens," the association said about the improbable run made by the volleyball players.
The most promising young athlete is tennis player Kaja Juvan, who played in the second round of Wimbledon and peaked at No. 106 in the WTA rankings this season. "The goals in the coming season are much higher," the association said.
Biathlete Alex Cisar won the fair play award for his display of sportsmanship in a Slovenian Cup race in Pokljuka. He gave fellow competitor Tilen Gregorka his ski stick after Gregorka lost one of his own in a collision with Cisar.
STA, 5 October 2019 - Slovenian cyclist Primož Roglič of the Dutch team Team Jumbo-Visma won the single-stage Giro d'Emillia race on Saturday to add to his numerous feats this year, which include the overall win at the prestigious Vuelta a Espana.
The Giro dell'Emilia is held annually in Bologna, Italy. Since 2005, it has been organised as a second-tier event organised by the International Cycling Union (UCI) as part of the UCI Europe Tour.
Roglič won the 103rd edition of the race, a 207-km stage between Bologna and San Luca, finishing 15 seconds ahead Michael Woods of Canada and Sergio Higuita of Colombia.
The first Slovenian to win this traditional race has won this season the UAE Tour, Tirreno-Adriatico, Tour de Romandie and Vuelta a Espana to establish himself as one of the finest riders in the world at the moment.
Roglič already won the stage of this year's Giro d'Italia, in which he finished third, which featured the same climb as the Giro d'Emillia.
The last time I was here I won, and for this reason I certainly like San Luca very much," said the 29-year-old, who will take part in another two races before the end of the season - in Varese and Lombardy.
STA, 15 September 2019 - Cycling sensation Primož Roglič (Team Jumbo-Visma) became the first Slovenian to win a grand tour race, as he crossed the finish line of La Vuelta in Madrid on Sunday. What is more, another Slovenian, the young Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), completed the three-week race in place three and claimed the white jersey of the best young cyclist.
Roglič's total time was 83 hours, 31 minutes and seven seconds and he also claimed the green jersey for the highest tally of points.
In second place, Spanish veteran Alejandro Valverde finished the race in 83 hours, 9 minutes and 47 seconds, while Pogačar completed it in 83 hours, 10 minutes and 9 seconds.
The victory for Roglič, a 29-year-old former ski jumper, comes after a third place at the Giro d'Italia this year, another grand tour. He sat out this year's Tour de France to prepare for la Vuelta but also because he became father for the first time.
Roglič claimed the red jersey of la Vuelta in stage 10, becoming the first Slovenian to win a stage at all three grand tours and only the 99th cyclist to do so.
For the 20-year-old Pogačar, this was the first ever grand tour. He has shown what he is made of by winning three very demanding stages and has become the first UAE Team Emirates member to climb a grand tour podium since the team was renamed in 2017.
STA, 6 September 2019 - Slovenia proved to be a cycling tour superpower on Friday as Tadej Pogačar won the 13th stage of the Vuelta ahead of Primož Roglič, who increased the overall lead in the race of Spain.
The 166-kilometre stage between Bilbao and Los Machucos finished with a short (6.8km) but hellishly steep climb, where the Slovenian pair soon broke away to make Slovenia's biggest success ever.
In the all-Slovenian finish, Pogačar, the 20-year-old UAE Emirates rider, won his second stage victory to advance to the 2nd spot overall, putting on the best young rider's white jersey.
Wearing the race leader's red jersey, Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) only increased his overall lead ahead of Spain's Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) to two minutes and 25 seconds.
Pogačar, in his debut appearance at the Vuelta, lags three minutes and a second behind.
Coming in third in the 13th stage, France's Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale) finished as many as 27 seconds behind the Slovenian riders today.
"I'm happy about today's achievement but the Vuelta is not over yet," Roglič commented after the race.
Pogačar was in disbelief: "I was told by the radio link that no one was behind us, I felt I'was looking at a good chance. I'm overwhelmed."
STA, 3 September 2019 - Slovenian cycling star Primož Roglič won on Tuesday the tenth stage of the Vuelta a Espana race, the 36.2-km individual time-trial in France's Pau, taking the race leader's red jersey. The 29-year-old has thus become the first Slovenian to have won a stage at all three Grand Tours.
Roglič, who was the top favourite for today's victory, was ahead of his rivals the whole time during the stage, which started in Jurancon and ended in Pau.
The Jumbo-Visma rider was 21 seconds ahead of his fellow countrymen Tadej Pogačar at the first time measurement and 19 seconds ahead of New Zealand's Patrick Bevin, who took second place, estimating his losses to 25 seconds across the line.
"The time trial was difficult and I tried to beat it as quickly as possible. I'm happy about today's performance. I aimed to ride as fast as possible the whole stage and luckily it was enough for the win," Roglič said after his victory.
He gained a lot of advantage over his rivals at the top, having a minute and 52 seconds before the second-placed Spanish rider Alejandro Valverde, and could be another step closer to winning the Spanish Grand Tour.
"We'll see about that in Madrid. I won today, let's take it one step at a time," Roglič told the press.
He is currently also wearing the green jersey, worn by the leader in the points competition.
Pogačar, who was successful at the start of the dynamic time trial, eventually took the 11th place.
This is Roglič's 20th win in the world series, 10th this year, and 8th in time trial stages.
He won two stages at this year's Giro d'Italia, and won four of the six time trials he took part in this year.
The previous owner of the red jersey, Colombian Nairo Quintana, has 3 minutes and 6 seconds in losses behind Roglič.
Roglič has also become the second Slovenian to be wearing the Vuelta red jersey - before him only Janez Brajkovič managed the feat in 2006 and 2013.
STA, 10 June 2019 - Slovenia's best road cyclist Primož Roglič, who recently finished third in the Giro d'Italia, will not participate in this year's Tour de France, which will start on 6 July, his team Jumbo-Visma has announced.
Announcing the line-up for the renowned three-week race, the Dutch team confirmed on Monday what had been planned at the start of the season - that the 29-year-old Slovenian will skip it.
Slovenian fans had nevertheless hoped until the last moment that Roglič, who made his best career result in Italy and won two stages, would participate in the Tour de France.
The first name of the Jumbo-Visma team in France will be Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk, who was fifth last year. He will be accompanied by seven helpers.
Speculations about Roglič taking part as a helper and being allowed to win individual stages at the Tour de France appeared in the media after the Giro d'Italia, which ended on 2 June.
At the time, the Dutch team did not want to exclude the possibility of the Slovenian appearing in the race in which he finished fourth last year for the best Slovenian result ever.
Ahead of the last stage, a 17-km time trial in Verona, the 29-year-old was fourth overall, but he showed his sprinting skills to overtake Spain's Mikel Landa to make it to the podium.
Competing for Jumbo Visma team from the Netherlands, Roglič finished the time trial in 22 minutes and 33 seconds to miss his third win in time trials at this year's Giro D'Italia by 26 seconds.
He was the 10th fastest racer today, beating Landa (Movistar) by 31 seconds for the first podium finish at the Grand Tour races (Giro d'Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana) for Slovenian cyclists.
The race totalling 3,547 km was won by Richard Carapaz of Equador (Movistar) ahead of Italian Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida). He conceded 49 seconds to Nibali in the last stage to win with an advantage of 1 minute and 5 seconds.
The podium finish for the former ski jumper comes after Roglič finished fourth overall at last year's Tour de France.
The only Slovenian who previously managed to make it to the top ten in Italy was Tadej Valjavec, who was 9th in 2004.
"It's funny to think that a small Slovenian can come to Giro and compete with the best," Roglič told Slovenian reporters in Verona Arena after the race. He added that the podium finish was like a win to him.
"I'm proud and happy," said Roglič, adding that "it is very nice to stand on the podium" and that he would probably realise what he had achieved only later.
"I'm also happy that Slovenians and their fans have lifted the race to another level. I enjoyed in the exceptional support. Thanks to everybody who came to support us," was Roglič's message to fans.
Roglič was in the overall lead for the first five stages as the first Slovenian ever to manage that at the Grand Tour races.
By stage eight, he dropped to 12th place, but in the following stage, he climbed back to the 2nd overall.
Roglič kept the second overall place until stage 16, when he dropped to 3rd, the place he kept until the 19th, mountain stage, when he was overtaken by Landa after receiving penalty seconds.
Slovenia's Jan Polanc (Bahrain Merida), who briefly wore the pink jersey as the race leader in stages 12 and 13, finished the race in the 14th spot overall. His compatriot Grega Bole was 110th.
STA, 1 June 2019 - Slovenian rider Primož Roglič fell further behind the pink jersey in Saturday's penultimate stage of the Giro d'Italia to slip from third to fourth in overall standings, with his fans costing him precious seconds.
With only the 17-kilometre individual time trial to go before the finish at the Verona Arena, Roglič is now 3 minutes and 16 seconds behind Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz, who retained the overall leader's pink jersey.
This includes ten penalty seconds slapped on the Jumbo-Visma rider after his Slovenian fans pushed his bike for a few seconds up the climb just below the Croce d'Aune pass.
This was after Roglič failed to defend an attack by Mikel Landa, Carapaz's lieutenant at Movistar, some 13 kilometres before the finish line.
A Slovenian fan was also involved in another incident following a few kilometres further as he knocked Colombian rider Miguel Angel Lopez off his bike running to close to him, earning a few punches from the Colombian in the process.
Today's tough 194-kilometre stage in the Dolomites, which featured five categorised climbs, finished at Monte Avena with the victory of Spain's Astana ruder Pello Bilbao ahead of his compatriot Landa, and Italian Giulio Ciccone.
Overall, Vincenzo Nibali continues in second, while Landa overtook Roglič in third.
STA, 19 May 2019 - Slovenian cyclist Primož Roglič won stage nine of the Giro d'Italia by finishing first in today's 34.8-kilometre time trial that ended in San Marino. His second victory in time trial earned Roglič second place overall. "My goal is to have the (pink) jersey in Verona," Roglič told the press.
Roglič, who already won the opening time trial, finished today's race on wet roads that ended with a 12-kilometre ascent to San Marino, in 51 minutes and 52 seconds.
Belgian Victor Campenaerts, the European champion who broke the hour record last month, came 11 seconds behind him, followed by Dutch Bauke Mollema, who was a minute behind.
Italian Valerio Conti has retained his pink jersey, but Roglič is now only a minute and 50 seconds behind in second place.
"Everything worked out for me today. It was a shame that the rain started just before the start and it stayed rainy until the end. I tried to minimise the risks in the turn, and make up for the difference in the difficult parts," Roglič told the press.
The third and decisive time trial will be held on the last day of the race in Verona. "My goal is to have the (pink) jersey in Verona. I'm not sorry that I don't have it now," said Roglič, smiling.
He was hinting to the media obligations that the pink jersey brings. Cyclists will have a day off on Monday, and since the Tuesday and Wednesday races will be more or less flat, he is planning on saving his strength.
After wearing the pink jersey for the first five days of the legendary race, Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) lost the overall lead to Conti (UAE Emirates) on Thursday and dropped to 11th place.