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Tour de France: Tadej Pogacar profile

Since bursting onto the scene as a 21-year-old at the 2019 Vuelta a Espana, Slovenia's Tadej Pogacar has enjoyed a meteoric rise to the top of professional cycling.

Pogacar won the Tour de France in both 2020 and 2021, but he was thwarted by fellow young gun Jonas Vingegaard last year and will be desperate to reclaim the yellow jersey in July.

NameTadej Pogacar
TeamUAE Team Emirates
Tour de France appearances 3
Tour de France general classification wins2 (2020, 2021) 
Tour de France stage wins

Tadej Pogacar’s background

Born in the village of Komenda in Slovenia in September 1998, Pogacar followed his older brother, Tilen, in joining the Rog Ljubljana cycling club at the age of nine.

It was at the club that Pogacar's talents were spotted by former Slovenia national road race champion Andrej Hauptman, who nurtured Pogacar in his formative years in the sport.

Hauptman followed Pogacar to UAE Team Emirates in 2019 when the rising star signed his first professional contract and is currently Pogacar's coach and a directeur sportif at the World Tour outfit.

The rest, as they say, is history, with Pogacar announcing himself as a generational talent with third place at the 2019 Vuelta a Espana on his Grand Tour debut.

Tadej Pogacar’s career achievements

Prior to finishing third at the Vuelta, Pogacar had already become the youngest cyclist to win a UCI World Tour race at the 2019 Tour of California.

He added another general classification win at the Volta ao Algarve to his palmares before making everyone take notice of his talents at the Vuelta in 2019, when he finished on the podium behind compatriot Primoz Roglic and then world champion Alejandro Valverde.

The 2020 season was curtailed  but Pogacar arrived at a delayed Tour de France in prime shape.

He trailed Roglic by almost a minute heading into the penultimate time-trial but produced a wondrous performance on the slopes of La Planche des Belles Filles to snatch the yellow jersey from under the nose of his compatriot. 

In doing so, Pogacar became the only rider to win the general, mountains and young rider classifications in the same year.

A dominant retention of his Tour de France title followed a year later, but having held the upper hand in the opening exchanges of last year's Grand Boucle, a tactical masterclass from Jumbo-Visma on stage 11 saw Pogacar crack and Vingegaard reign supreme.

Aside from his two Tour triumphs, Pogacar has won 11 stage races since turning professional as well as a slew of one-day Classics, including at three of cycling's five Monuments (twice at Giro di Lombardia and once each at Liege-Bastogne-Leige and the Tour of Flanders).

Pogacar's victory at the Tour of Flanders in April was the first time since 1975 that a male Tour de France winner had won De Ronde.

The Slovene also won bronze in the 2021 Olympic road race in Tokyo.

Tadej Pogacar’s riding style

An insatiable competitor, Pogacar is a genuine world-class talent in most aspects of cycling.

As a general classification contender he is a supreme climber who especially thrives on the hardest climbs - but he is also excellent against the clock. 

Pogacar is a double Slovenian national time-trial champion and two of his nine Tour de France stage wins have come in time-trials.

He has a reputation for hunting every second available on the road and rarely lets his competitors gain any easy advantages, no matter how small.

His hunger for success and all-round ability has been likened to that of cycling great Eddy Merckx.

Tadej Pogacar’s Tour de France odds

Only eight men have won the Tour de France three times but Pogacar is 11/10 to join Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, Miguel Indurain, Jacques Anquetil, Chris Froome, Philippe Thys, Louison Bobet and Greg LeMond in that exclusive club this year.

Pogacar has never finished worse than third in four attempts at a Grand Tour and he is 2/7 to finish on the podium in Paris for a fourth consecutive year. It is 5/2 that he fails to finish in the first three.

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