Tadej Pogacar is back on track and preparing for Tour de France in his own country: "I'm excited to start again"

Two overall victories in the Tour de France are already on his list of achievements, this year a third is to be added. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) wants to recharge his Tour legs optimally in his home country with the Tour of Slovenia. It’s his first race in almost two months, but “I feel pretty good during training,” he says with confidence.

Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) goes in the 109th Tour de France for nothing less than a third overall victory. Just like last year, the Slovenian skips the Dauphiné and the Tour of Switzerland in preparation for La Grande Boucle† With the Tour of Slovenia (2.Pro), he opts for a five-day stage race in his own country, which he won for the first time last year. “The course is tough and there will be strong rivals, but hopefully we can get some good results along the way and enjoy a nice week of racing,” said the Slovenian on the team website.

The opening ride in Nova Gorica on Wednesday will immediately be a value gauge for pogis shape towards the Tour. His last race dates back to the Waalse Pijl on April 20, in which he finished twelfth, almost two months ago. “It’s been a while since I last pinned a bib number, so I’m excited and excited to get back into it. We trained at altitude in Livigno and the atmosphere in the team was great. I feel pretty good in training, but it’s always hard to know exactly how you’re doing until you’re in the game.” In the meantime, Pogacar also explored several Tour stages, including those in the Pyrenees with arrivals in Lourdes-Hautacam and Peyragudes.

Pogacar will certainly have ticked the fourth stage of the Slovenian cycling round. “Stage four goes through my hometown of Komenda. I know the roads and the climbs quite well of course and I look forward to seeing friends and family who will cheer me on.”

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The two-time Tour winner leads a seven-man squad in Slovenia that also includes sprinter Pascal Ackermann, climbers Rafal Majka and Jan Polanc, and Mikkel Bjerg, Rui Oliveira and Vegard Stake Laengen.

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Practical info Tour of Slovenia

The Tour of Slovenia (2.Pro) starts on Wednesday 15 June and will have its traditional climax in Novo Mesto on Sunday. Below you will find the route schedule:– Stage 1, Wednesday, June 15: Nova Gorica – Postojna (164.7 km)– Stage 2, Thursday, June 16: Ptuj – Rogaška Slatina (174.1 km)– Stage 3, Friday 17 June: Žalec – Celje (144.6 km)– Stage 4, Saturday June 18: Laško – Velika planina (152.5 km)– Stage 5, Sunday 19 June: Vrhnika – Novo mesto (156.1 km)

The five-day stage race does not have the strongest field of participants, with only 4 WorldTour teams at the start. In addition to Tadej Pogacar and his teammates from UAE, Damiano Caruso and Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Victorious), Dylan Groenewegen and Giro stage winner Matteo Sobrero (BikeExchange-Jayco) and Fabio Fellini (Astana Qazaqstan Team) are also present. Tim Merlier, Lionel Taminiaux and Fabio Van Den Bossche (Alpecin-Fenix) keep the Belgian honor high in Slovenia.

The Tour of Slovenia can be followed live every day on Eurosport

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