Tadej Pogacar dominates in Tour of Slovenia and doubles with stage win and leader position

The third stage of the Tour of Slovenia has fallen into the basket of who else but Tadej Pogacar. The two-time Tour winner of UAE Team Emirates was nothing short of impressive uphill and soloed to victory in Celje. Team mate Rafal Majka finished second, Nicola Conci finished third. Pogacar takes over the leader’s jersey from Majka on the third day.

Louis Descamps

After the sprint stage on Thursday, day three had to climb again in the Tour of Slovenia (2.Pro). The relatively short ride from Žalec to Celje, 145 kilometers to be exact, had two tough uphill obstacles. The Lipa emerged first, the Svetina had to be the executioner with a top at twenty kilometers from the finish. Could Tadej Pogacar display his Tour form just like in the opening stage? He had to make do with two important UAE pawns less: Mikkel Bjerg and Vegard Stake Laengen got off course with corona. The animal is also advancing in Slovenia.

An unknown trio drove for a long time, the necessary publicity was received. Their story was written about twenty miles from the end. A compact but large peloton moved towards the Svetina (5.6 kilometers at 7.5%). A first acceleration uphill of Pogacar’s pace pulled that peloton on a ribbon. The two-time Tour winner continued, only teammate and leader Rafal Majka was in his wheel. In the background, Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Victorious) tried to close the gap, but the Pogacar-Majka duo narrowed in the distance, with twenty kilometers to go.

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One-two for UAE

The two of UAE opted for a cautious descent of the Svetina. Mohoric is not a fan of that, do you remember his crazy descent from the Poggio in Milan-Sanremo at the beginning of this year? The Slovenian master descender started risky, but he himself opted for more certainty on the wet road surface. At seven kilometers from the finish, Nicola Conci (Alpecin-Fenix) joined the two in front out of nowhere, having ridden the descent of his life.

On the final climb to Celje’s castle, Pogacar dropped another bomb. Neither Majka nor Conci could follow. Just like last year, Pogacar arrived solo at the castle of Celje. With his victory, the Slovenian child prodigy immediately doubles down: he is also the new leader in the round of his home country, with two stages to go. Majka was still fighting for second place, which he also won. Conci finished third after an impressive catch-up race.

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