Tadej Pogačar discussion thread

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Pogacar donates Tour de France-winning bike on visit to Colnago HQ - Gallery

"Tour de France champion Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) paid a visit to Ernesto Colnago at the legendary bike maker’s headquarters in Cambiago, Italy, on Saturday.
The Slovenian donated the special yellow Colnago V3RS, on which he rode into Paris in September, to the adjoining museum that showcases race-winning bikes from the likes of Eddy Merckx and Johan Museeuw."
 
Reactions: Fuente De and Lui98
Nov 2, 2020
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https://www.tuttobiciweb.it/article/2020/11/15/1605377456/pogacar-da-colnago-cambiago-fabio-aru-vincenzo-nibali-grandi-giri-classiche-classiche-monumento-tadej-pogacar-pogacar-colnago-pogacar-tour-pogacar-uae

This is an interview that Pogačar gave to Tuttobiciweb the day where he went to the Colnago Museum.
It's written in italian so I'll try to translate (probably badly:tearsofjoy:) what he said apart from the first question where he practically says that he prefers to do the interview in english, that he likes Italy and also knows italian, but he feels embarassed to speak italian in the interview.

Did your life change after your Tour the France win?

I'd say no, I am just getting more attention. Apart from that I have the same home, same girlfriend, same passion for cycling.

It's known that the most difficult thing is to reaffirm yourself (as TDF champion).

It's true and is also clear that I'll have this responsibility, but If I miss it, amen, It wouldn' t be a tragedy. You turn the page and go forward.

You are only 22 years old, but do you have in mind to race two Grand Tours in the same season ?

It's known that the possibility of a double Giro-Vuelta is much easier, because you have more time to recover from the effort, while If you go all in for the Tour you have practically no time to recover. In any case this is a decision that will be taken collectively from my technical staff.
If I'll go to the Giro? I don't know precisely. It's clear that sooner or later I'd like to be there, and with great expectations.

When did you start to believe in the Tour win?

I went in France convinced that I could do well and most importantly I believed that I could do a very good GC. Then progressing I realized almost immediately that I could have done great things, but the realization of winning came only when Primoz concluded the TT behind me.

Do you like one day races?

Sure, and this year at the Liége, I was even close to win it (3°). Yes, in my palmares I also want to have some nice Monument.


What do you like to do when you are not racing?

I spend a lot of time pedaling and resting. I love to watch Tv series on Netflix like ''La Casa de Papel'' and also like to go for a walk with Urška


Have you ever thought that it could come a moment where everything goes wrong?
For now everything went very well, I was lucky, but I know that I won't be like this forever, but I also know that I have at my side people that loves me and that they will surely help me overcoming the most difficult moments. We only hope that this won't be needer: so that we will only share the joys.


Do you have any champion of the present or the past that inspired you?

I don' t have any idol, I liked Lance Armstrong, the Schleck brothers and Alberto Contador.
However I am me and I only want to be myself and follow my own road.


Do you like other sports?

I really like basket: I always liked a lot Shaquille O' Neal


Who is more popular? You or Doncic?

Certainly Doncic, for now...

In cycling, duels were always the spice of racing. You and Roglic could revive this tradition...

We are two very different riders, and not only for the age (Roglic is 31 years old, ndr), but we really respect each other. Sure, we are two athletes that are always trying to do our best, so in the coming years we will confront each other mano a mano, like we have already done.

What did you gift to yourself after your win in France?

Before the Tour I was telling myself: If I win a stage, I will buy a new car. Then I won three stages. I won the Tour. I won the white jersey and the polka dot and then I said to myself: I'll gift me only some peace and quiet.


The best gift that you received?

I received a lot of gifts and they were all very nice. But the one from Davide Formolo, my teammate, was the most welcome: a delicious cake. It was surely needed.


What do you feel in being in the Pantheon of cycling, with Merckx...
Unbelievable.


Fabio Aru is struggling since a few years to go back to his old level, did you get an idea of the reason ?

I don' t have an answer. Although I can say that Fabio is a nice guy, with whom I have a good relationship. I' m convinced that he' ll go back to performing at high levels, because he is tough and talent doesn't evaporate.


Nibali today (yesterday, ndr) turns 36: will he still be dangerous for you and the ''Nouvele Vague'' that is moving forward?

To Vincenzo I wish him happy birthday: he is great. An exemple for us all. It's true, a new generation of riders is progressing steadily, but his generation, will make us suffer a little bit more, you will see.


What is your relationship with your bike?

Very good: I love it like crazy. It's a Colnago. I also trust my mechanics: they are very good. There' s only one thing for me left to do: go fast.


What is the secret of a country like Slovenia that produces world class champions in every sport?

I think that everything originates from a very important school structure. In Slovenia sport activity is strategic, and the results are showing.
 
This one is good:

What did you gift to yourself after your win in France?

Before the Tour I was telling myself: If I win a stage, I will buy a new car. Then I won three stages. I won the Tour. I won the white jersey and the polka dot and then I said to myself: I'll gift me only some peace and quiet.



Poga is a focused and grounded young man who is not going anywhere. This could be just the start of absolutely amazing GT career and I wish him well.
 
https://www.tuttobiciweb.it/article/2020/11/15/1605377456/pogacar-da-colnago-cambiago-fabio-aru-vincenzo-nibali-grandi-giri-classiche-classiche-monumento-tadej-pogacar-pogacar-colnago-pogacar-tour-pogacar-uae

This is an interview that Pogačar gave to Tuttobiciweb the day where he went to the Colnago Museum.
It's written in italian so I'll try to translate (probably badly:tearsofjoy:) what he said apart from the first question where he practically says that he prefers to do the interview in english, that he likes Italy and also knows italian, but he feels embarassed to speak italian in the interview.

Did your life change after your Tour the France win?

I'd say no, I am just getting more attention. Apart from that I have the same home, same girlfriend, same passion for cycling.

It's known that the most difficult thing is to reaffirm yourself (as TDF champion).

It's true and is also clear that I'll have this responsibility, but If I miss it, amen, It wouldn' t be a tragedy. You turn the page and go forward.

You are only 22 years old, but do you have in mind to race two Grand Tours in the same season ?

It's known that the possibility of a double Giro-Vuelta is much easier, because you have more time to recover from the effort, while If you go all in for the Tour you have practically no time to recover. In any case this is a decision that will be taken collectively from my technical staff.
If I'll go to the Giro? I don't know precisely. It's clear that sooner or later I'd like to be there, and with great expectations.

When did you start to believe in the Tour win?

I went in France convinced that I could do well and most importantly I believed that I could do a very good GC. Then progressing I realized almost immediately that I could have done great things, but the realization of winning came only when Primoz concluded the TT behind me.

Do you like one day races?

Sure, and this year at the Liége, I was even close to win it (3°). Yes, in my palmares I also want to have some nice Monument.


What do you like to do when you are not racing?

I spend a lot of time pedaling and resting. I love to watch Tv series on Netflix like ''La Casa de Papel'' and also like to go for a walk with Urška


Have you ever thought that it could come a moment where everything goes wrong?
For now everything went very well, I was lucky, but I know that I won't be like this forever, but I also know that I have at my side people that loves me and that they will surely help me overcoming the most difficult moments. We only hope that this won't be needer: so that we will only share the joys.


Do you have any champion of the present or the past that inspired you?

I don' t have any idol, I liked Lance Armstrong, the Schleck brothers and Alberto Contador.
However I am me and I only want to be myself and follow my own road.


Do you like other sports?

I really like basket: I always liked a lot Shaquille O' Neal


Who is more popular? You or Doncic?

Certainly Doncic, for now...

In cycling, duels were always the spice of racing. You and Roglic could revive this tradition...

We are two very different riders, and not only for the age (Roglic is 31 years old, ndr), but we really respect each other. Sure, we are two athletes that are always trying to do our best, so in the coming years we will confront each other mano a mano, like we have already done.

What did you gift to yourself after your win in France?

Before the Tour I was telling myself: If I win a stage, I will buy a new car. Then I won three stages. I won the Tour. I won the white jersey and the polka dot and then I said to myself: I'll gift me only some peace and quiet.


The best gift that you received?

I received a lot of gifts and they were all very nice. But the one from Davide Formolo, my teammate, was the most welcome: a delicious cake. It was surely needed.


What do you feel in being in the Pantheon of cycling, with Merckx...
Unbelievable.


Fabio Aru is struggling since a few years to go back to his old level, did you get an idea of the reason ?

I don' t have an answer. Although I can say that Fabio is a nice guy, with whom I have a good relationship. I' m convinced that he' ll go back to performing at high levels, because he is tough and talent doesn't evaporate.


Nibali today (yesterday, ndr) turns 36: will he still be dangerous for you and the ''Nouvele Vague'' that is moving forward?

To Vincenzo I wish him happy birthday: he is great. An exemple for us all. It's true, a new generation of riders is progressing steadily, but his generation, will make us suffer a little bit more, you will see.


What is your relationship with your bike?

Very good: I love it like crazy. It's a Colnago. I also trust my mechanics: they are very good. There' s only one thing for me left to do: go fast.


What is the secret of a country like Slovenia that produces world class champions in every sport?

I think that everything originates from a very important school structure. In Slovenia sport activity is strategic, and the results are showing.
Sounds very mature, calm, confident, focused. Dares to mention him who mustn't be named...
 
Nov 23, 2020
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In a recent podcast for Slovenian TV, Tadej mentioned he recently watched the Lance Armstrong ESPN documentary.

In another livestream on instagram, he said his brother is riding again too so we might see 2 Pogacars in the peloton in the future :blush:
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
In a recent podcast for Slovenian TV, Tadej mentioned he recently watched the Lance Armstrong ESPN documentary.

In another livestream on instagram, he said his brother is riding again too so we might see 2 Pogacars in the peloton in the future :blush:
Is this the 45 minute podcast i saw passing by yesterday on social media? Sheesh, Pogacar fans are lazy bums, nobody taking the time to transcribe the interview. And then they complain he doesn't have the same amount of pages as Evenepoel. Phuh. Time for the Slovenian national language to be changed into English so the rest of the world can understand what's going on with Pogacar!
 
Is this the 45 minute podcast i saw passing by yesterday on social media? Sheesh, Pogacar fans are lazy bums, nobody taking the time to transcribe the interview. And then they complain he doesn't have the same amount of pages as Evenepoel. Phuh. Time for the Slovenian national language to be changed into English so the rest of the world can understand what's going on with Pogacar!
I very much doubt Pogačar's fans have complained he doesn't have the same amount of pages as Evenepoel. He'll never have those. But to be honest I do think the Evenepoel thread goes a little bit too much into details for my tastes. I really don't care what he eats for breakfast or where he goes on holiday with his girlfriend. Now I'm exaggerating a bit here, but if I recall correctly, it was somewhere on this forum where I've learned recently about his eating habits nowadays, lol. This is probably why some posters (probably not only Pogačar's fans) have been complaining.

Having said that, to each their own. There are probably posters who like to read also about details of the life of a certain rider. So if one doesn't like or care what the content of the post is about, feel free not to read it. I personally try to read the majority of the posts on the forum. But when I start reading and don't care where the content is going, I stop reading, simple as that.

I'll try to translate the main things Pogačar said in the interview and will post in here later.
 
Reactions: Lui98 and Sandisfan
This one is good:

What did you gift to yourself after your win in France?

Before the Tour I was telling myself: If I win a stage, I will buy a new car. Then I won three stages. I won the Tour. I won the white jersey and the polka dot and then I said to myself: I'll gift me only some peace and quiet.
At least he didn't end up having to buy his brother a car...
 

cen

Nov 24, 2020
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Fellow Slovenian here. I have been lurking around this website and forum all summer since cycling is super popular now in our country. I am not a cyclist myself but once a topic draws my interest I like to check around for news and see what the opinions out of the country are.

Anyway, I can be summoned for any translations you need and I can post stuff as it appears in our national media. I believe the podcast you are referring to is this thing: https://www.rtvslo.si/sport/citat-za-prebrat/tadej-pogacar/543057 (these are sometimes geolocked, but it is in Slovenian language so irrelavant..)

43minutes is a lot but I will try to transcribe the most interesting parts. Give me a day or so.
 
Last edited:
He was in Slovenia at the time of the interview.

About the number of interviews after winning the Tour:
There were too much to count on my fingers. But that's part of the job. The sooner you accept that, the easier it gets.

About growing up in Klanec and the funny play of words (Klanec means "a climb" in Slovenian):
Me, my brother and our friends were always joking about having a home on the climb (laughs). Now people associate the word to my strong performances on the climbs in races. I don't really think about it anymore to be honest and I usually use other words for climbs.

Krvavec (in Slovenia) is one of his favourite climbs to train.

He and his girlfriend (Urška Žigart, next season will ride for Mitchelton Scott) took 6 days off, without a bike, in the off season. Tadej says, he doesn't like that period to be too long, because the shock can be big if you suddenly begin to train full gas.

Because he was in too good of a form in May, his trainer has asked him to stop riding a bike for a week at the time, but he didn't listen. He was still riding his bike, but he was taking it easy. "I don't know what to do with myself for the whole day if I don't ride my bike", he jokes.

About Everesting:
It was a popular challenge, but I'm not planing to do it anytime soon. I don't see the point of doing it. It doesn't suit my way of training. But it was interesting to see the differences in times.

He isn't a fan of virtual cycling.

When he rides full gas (i.e. Tour ITT), for motivation he counts down the kilometers left to the finish. Also often in those situations thinks about his girlfriend.

Q: How did you count down the kilometers in the Tour ITT, we know you didn't have your power meter on?
A: We knew the course, it was flat for the first 30km and a difficult climb in the last 6km. It was the last GC stage in the Tour and I had to ride on the limit, full gas from start to finish. Very important was the decision to change the bike. I decided to have only one ring on the TT bike and I choose the gearing. In the first part I had the power meter, I was following the wattage, I was trying to ride consistently, because even though it was mainly flat on paper it was still a lot of up and down. When we made a bike change, I didn't want to have any distraction. I said to my mechanic to remove everything. The bike weight was optimal. I was riding by feeling. I've trained a lot, I know my capacity and my limitations. That's why I decided to not ride with a computer in the last 6km.

At the TT Nationals, we started to think about the Tour. It was a good training to get the right felling for a bike change. Even though there we changed the bike from a road bike to the TT bike. We've prepared extremely well for the Tour. (may I add something... Yes, they've really prepared well. I remember even a couple of days before the NC ITT, they've put hours and hours in only practicing the bike change. It's like they predicted the race will be decided there).

His weight is not a secret. It was 65,5kg at the beginning of the Tour and a little over 66kg at the end of the Tour. His body weight was swinging a lot less than in the 2019 Vuelta.

About doping accusations:
He's recently seen the documentary about Amstrong and now understands why people don't trust some performances. He wasn't old enough to understand what was going on with the stories about Armstrong and Pantani. Then other riders came out, Landis, even Contador had troubles... It was a long period and people don't forget. I understand why they don't trust us, but cycling is a beautiful sport.

When did he first hear about Primož Roglič?
After his crash (on the ski flying hill in Planica), when he trained on a bike for his regeneration. He was good immediately, I liked him as a cyclist. Then when he signed with Jumbo Visma, in the first year he was 2nd and won a ITT stage in the Giro. I wanted to become as good as he is. He opened the door for the rest of us Slovenian cyclists. I have deep respect for him. In the end we're competing against each other on different teams. It's the way it is. I had mixed feelings when I saw him at the finish of the ITT, but that's sport.

About him and Roglič being the main figures of the renaissance of Slovenian cycling:
In the past it maybe looked like Slovenian cyclists weren't as welcomed in the Pro peloton. Brajkovič, Valjavec, Hauptman and Hvastija had good results in the past (how can you forget Špilak, Pogi how dare you!:mad:), but then Roglič was the one who lifted Slovenian cycling towards the top. I hope from now on it will be easier for young Slovenian riders to make the jump to WT teams.
 

cen

Nov 24, 2020
5
17
60
My attempt with English B level, hf.

Is the worst consequence of winning the Tour a much higher number of interviews you have to do?
I'm running out of fingers to be able to count them. It’s kind of a nuisance, but it’s part of every sport. The sooner you accept this and get used to the role, the easier it is for you.

You came home this week, where exactly are you?
Urška and I arrived to some cold weather. It's a little too hot in Monaco, we're more used to getting a little cold for the end of the season. At the moment we are in Styria, where it is a little sunnier.

You grew up on Klanec pri Komendi, considering that you are a top cyclist, the word klanec (=slope) kept you.
My brother and I always joked that we lived on a slope, we also had other unfunny jokes. Now everyone associates the word slope with my successes and good cycling climbs. I don't look at it too much.

The ascent, which is quite close to Klanec, Krvavec, means a lot to you.
It’s not a pass because the road doesn’t go over to the other side, so you have to go back the same way. This is really one of my favorite slopes for both training and a beautiful view.

The season is barely over, preparations for the new season will begin soon. How long do top cyclists take a vacation completely without a bike?
This varies from competitor to competitor. Some take virtually no vacation without a bike as they have to be active all the time. Urška and I are pretty close to that. We took six days without a bike this year when we were in Dubai. But some also take three to four weeks when they are completely without a bike and start a new season like that. I like to be active, even during the off-season, otherwise the shock is too great when we start full training again.

Speaking of rest, after the end of the Tour, your coach San Millan revealed that you were already in such top form in May that he asked you to take a week off and leave the bike aside. Did you obey him?
I didn’t leave the bike completely alone. I went on an active vacation to Bovec, where I had a bicycle with me. Urška and I took a walk, we drove up and down a little, but really nothing excessive. So much so that both body and head rested. I wasn't completely without a bike, if I was then I don't know what I would do with myself all day.

During quarantine, there were quite a few interesting challenges among cyclists, such as everesting, in which the goal was to overcome a total altitude of 8848 meters, as measured by the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest.
This challenge has really been very popular this year, both on platforms and on the roads. Both are very difficult, you manage to do it faster on the trainer. I'm not going to do that yet because I don't see much point in it. It doesn’t fit my type of training, I have no intention of doing this challenge at the moment. Without a doubt, it was interesting to observe the time differences between the riders.

The pandemic caught you in the Race of the United Arab Emirates, when you just got a mountain stage, and after the race ended prematurely, you won second place. For a long time it was not clear in what form the season would be carried out, if at all. But given all the preparations you’ve made, is there any hint that you believed the Tour would be carried out?
At first, we didn’t even know how long we were going to stay locked up in that hotel room when the pandemic broke out. At first we hoped to be able to race as early as April, but there was less and less hope. In the meantime, there was a period in which we didn't know if we would be able to do any race at all. Teams started cutting salaries, it was a whole "casino". We were then told that the season would start in August. We were getting ready for the races to really go out. In the meantime, you have to train and have some goals, so we believed and prepared for the races at full speed. We can be happy with the number of races that were eventually completed.

Including the Tour, which brought so much to Slovenian cycling. It is still an unforgettable TT that brought you the ultimate victory. Reader Mitja asks you if you had any special speech or motivation, did you perhaps think of your girlfriend?
Yes, I often think of my girlfriend. When it’s really hard for me, I motivate myself best by counting down the kilometers to the finish line. Everyone has to find their motive, I think what works for me is the mentioned countdown. Many times I really thought of Urška, especially when the stages are really long.

But how did you tackle this countdown on the TT, on which you still drove without a computer?
In fact, we knew the route very well, we knew that the first 30 kilometers would be flat, and the last six kilometers was a really difficult climb. It was necessary to go full speed, it was the last real stage on the Tour, it was necessary to go to the limit to the best of our ability. The first key move was that we had already decided to change the bike before the preparations. I decided to have only one sprocket on the wheel for the TT, I chose the rims and with what transmissions I will drive the flat part. In this part of the route I had a meter on which I observed my developed Watts, I was not allowed to swing too much, even though it was a supposedly flat, we still climbed and descended a bit. But when we changed bikes, I knew the slope was killer. The climb was really steep, I told the mechanic to remove everything, the weight of the bike was optimal, I had no distractions. If I drove badly, I might be even more worried, maybe I would go too far into the red. I went by my feeling. I trained a lot, I knew my abilities, so I decided not to use the computer for the last six kilometers.

That was probably somewhat decided already at the Slovenian time trial championships?
There, we roughly started thinking about the Tour. For me, it was a good workout to change bikes. We got our first feelings, although we changed the exact opposite at the time - we went from a road bike to a TT. The team and I prepared well for the Tour.

Reader David is interested in what weight you had on the Tour. You have had the same weight stated on Strava for several years. This figure is quite interesting for those who like to calculate the developed power in difficult slopes.
There are always masters on Twitter who quickly calculate everything. It’s no secret, in the first week of the Tour my weight was around 65.5 kg, and in the last week I weighed around 66 or a bit more. The body retains little water because the effort is so severe. This year my weight fluctuated much less than last year on the Vuelta.

You post a lot of information on Strava yourself, which always gives me the association that this is your answer to doping questions. What is it like to compete in a sport where top riders pay in advance for the sins of their fathers (whether you’re clean or not, every winner wonders if he’s really fair)?
It’s a really awkward topic. Just last week, I was watching a new documentary about Armstrong. I’ve found out why people don’t really trust us. When the stories around Armstrong and Pantani were happening, I wasn’t old enough yet to realize what it was all about. People find it hard to forget, it’s been a really long time. At first, both were believed, followed by Floyd Landis, Contador also had problems with that. I understand that people do not trust us. But it's a really nice sport.

In an interview with Marca, you said that you had mixed feelings when you beat Primož Roglič. When have you first heared of him?
After his fall, when he needed the bike to regenerate. He was immediately good, he was only getting better every year. I personally liked him as a cyclist, then he went to Jumbo Vismo, he immediately started winning, he immediately got a TT on the Giro. I wished I could be as good as he was someday. He opened the door wide to Slovenian cycling. I really respect him. In the end, we raced against each other, each for his own team. That's right. Everyone wished well to Primož to win the Tour, but in the end it turned out that way. It ended the way it did. In the end, I had really mixed feelings. When he crossed the finish line and I saw his expression on his face. That is the sport.

You and Primož are the bearers of the Slovenian cycling renaissance. They won three of the last four grand tours. How do you observe this rebirth from the first line?
Slovenian cyclists were viewed a little worse in the past. They were taken as if they were not too welcome on the World Tour. Brajkovič, Valjavec, Hauptman and Hvastija made good results, they showed that they can race. Roglič then set Slovenia very high. I hope that it will be easier for our younger riders to transfer to the World Tour, that it will be easier to accept and treat them in the same way as e.g. Italians, Spaniards or French.

The red thread of this season are the extremes. What do you think of the word extreme?
It was a really extreme season! This year's results were really good, but I don't think only of myself and Primož. Everyone who was in the world series was part of the big story. We made a big leap at the World Championships and one-day classics. It was a really extreme season.

You mentioned the World Cup, there you really showed national team progress, it was clear that you had several scenarios ready. One was also your attack in the penultimate round. Did you believe at that moment that you could get to the finish line on your own?
It was a really tough race. You have less power and energy each round. I didn’t feel super good, but good enough. For it to be a good escape, of course I would have liked someone from another country to join me, which would make it easier for me and harder for those in the main. In the end, no one dared to go with me that far from the finish line. There were no radios, so I didn’t know what was going on. I knew I wasn’t going to make it to the finish line, I wanted to last as long as possible, with that I wanted to make the race harder. The Belgians were so strong that they almost easily caught me.

You differ from the last few winners of the Tour in that you have quite pronounced ambitions in the biggest one-day races. Your disappointment at the Liege-Bastogne-Liege race was clear, where you were left without a fight for a possible victory due to the Alaphilippe maneuver.
I really like one-day races, maybe even more than three-week ones. There you know you will suffer for 23 days. A one-day race, however, you know will go one day to the fullest, with more than six hours of racing ahead of you. I have these ambitions to prove myself in these races as well. I drove the Liege for the first time last year, it was a really long race for me. I got 18th place, which made me really happy. I could even reach victory this year. Unfortunately, Alaphilippe was too nervous. He has been making mistakes and stupid things for the last 15km. I could have won too, in the end I had to brake in the sprint because Marc Hirschi almost kicked me off the bike. In the end, third place was great anyway.

Do you talk to cyclists about such moves in such cases?
No, I haven't had a chance to talk to Alaphilippe. He immediately went to the press and to the stage for the winners. I myself went to the bus, when I found out I was third, I went back to the stage and Alaphilippe was gone. Even if I met him, I wouldn’t talk about it. He knows he made a mistake, I won’t be smart to the world champion telling him he messed up.

He was similarly careless a few days later when he fell in the Race of Flanders. There was also some bad luck involed in that situation. This year's season produced some really bad falls. There is a lot of talk about safety all the time. How well is security taken care of?
I know the organizers are trying. We have a CPA community that cares about our security. Accidents often occur, the circumstances are different. In Poland, the fences could certainly be better placed, they did't have to place the finish line on a downhill. Even my mom says the finish could always be uphill. The organizers want to do a show, but it’s not always successful. Cyclists have to be careful themselves, we know what awaits us, we have to be careful all the time.

Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert fought for victory in the above-mentioned Race of Flanders. The two riders shared the last six titles of the world cyclocross champion. This is not a completely unknown discipline for you, you were the national champion two years ago. Are you still training this discipline?
Too little. Sometimes in the winter I drive around, do a technical exercise. It’s a discipline where you have to be just as committed as you are on the road. If you want to race globally with van der Poel and van Aert, you have to be a keen cyclocross rider, you have to be a talent, you have to train every day. If only a few more races were possible in Slovenia, but there aren't any due to covid. Otherwise, it is a very interesting discipline. I would like it to develop a little more here. We know that the level in our country is not even close to that in Belgium.

Toni Gruden asks you, when will you be competing in two three-week races in one season?
This could happen as early as next year with a combination of Giro and Vuelta, but in our team it’s a little different. We have a sponsor of the UAE, for whom the Tour is the most important, followed by their home race UAE Tour. They want the best riders in these races. We’ll see how we decide together. In the future, there will definitely be some double grand tours.

But it is probably clear that Tour is the goal for next year?
I don't know exactly yet. Since I won this year, it would definitely be fine to drive with number one on the back next year.

Due to a really remarkable start to your career in three-week races, many fans have already thought that you can become a real collector of victories and become part of the historical elite. What do you think about that?
You never know, I may fall in training tomorrow and break something. It is necessary to go from day to day. Of course, goals must be set. But I dare not think too much about it. I’m motivated for years to come, I want to prove myself, but you never know when a bad season may come. Anything can happen and it takes away your desires and goals. Care must be taken in this.

There is a lot of talk about your ability to regenerate. How much is this "gift of nature" and how much is it part of a planned workout?
It’s a very big part of nature, it’s very much in the genes. My ancestors were not exactly athletes tho. Somehow I was born with this gift of regeneration. I have a good metabolism, I haven’t gone too deep into this matter myself, but if the coach tells me that’s the case, I believe him. Because of this, I can train more, but you have to be smart and careful not to overtrain, but to upgrade the skills you have. There is a lot to do with training, especially if you work smart.

How do you want the cycling world to remember you? What kind of mark do you want to leave in Slovenian cycling?
I want to give something back to Slovenian cycling. I grew up in Rog, where I had everything available. I want to give that back to our cycling. In fact, it is not the happiest thing right now, I want to give it something back.
 
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About WC RR and his attack:
I didn't feel super strong but pretty good, so I decided to attack. I wanted that someone would join me. That way we would have had more chances to go to the finish. Nobody had the guts to come with so far from the finish. I knew I was going nowhere. We didn't have radio communications so did not know what exactly is happening behind, so I tried to make the race as hard as possible for as long as possible. The Belgian team was so strong, it looked like they caught me with ease.

About one day races and classics:
I like them a lot, maybe even more than GTs. In a GT you know you have to suffer for 21 stages, in the classics you have to go full gas for those 6 hours. I like it and I have ambitions for one day races, too. In LBL I was good already last year when I was 18th and it was a good result for me at the time. This year maybe I could have won, if Alaphilippe wasn't so nervous. He made some stupid mistakes in the last 15km. I had to break in the sprint for the win in the end, because Hirschi almost made me crash, but in the end 3rd place was also excellent.

I didn't talk to Alaphilippe after the race. I haven't met him during the podium celebrations. But even if I did, I wouldn't act like a smart ass. He is a World Champion, he knows what he did wrong.

About cyclocross, he was NC two years ago (MVDP an WVA are mentioned):
I don't do enough cyclocross. Every now and then I ride in the winter, usually I do some technical exercises. But it's a discipline you need to be completely focused on, same as road racing. You need to have the talent and train everyday to compete with the likes of MVDP an WVA. Maybe if there were more races, I'd try it, but because of Covid19 there are no races in program in the near future in Slovenia. Anyway, it's a discipline I like and wish it 'd be more popular in Slovenia. The level here is not comparable to the level in Belgium, though.

About racing two GTs in one season:
There was a plan to do the combination Giro-Vuelta as soon as next season, but the Tour victory changed things a bit. For UAE by far the most important races are the Tour followed by UAE Tour. They want the best riders in those races. I don't have a program for next year, but it'd be nice to start the Tour with number one on my back. In the future, I will certainly ride two GTs in a season.

About winning the Tour so young and the possibility to become multiple Tour winner:
You never know. I can crash tomorrow on my training ride and break my leg. You have to go day by day. Of course you have to be ambitious, but I never think too much about it. I have goals for the next years, but you never know when a down year comes. It's better to be cautious with the predictions.

About his regeneration, how much it is about genetic/natural abilities and how much about training:
A lot is about my natural abilities, it's in the genes apparently. Although my parents weren't professional athletes. I was born with a fantastic regeneration gift, I haven't dug deep into it, but that's what my trainer says. I'm like, great, if you say so (laughs). Because of that I can train more, but I have to be careful not to overtrain. But you can improve your regeneration with training of course, if you know what you are doing.

How does he want to be remembered in cycling World/ Slovenian cycling:
I want to give back to Slovenian cycling, what I received. I grew up in cycling club ROG Ljubljana. I then had everything I needed to improve as a cyclist. I know the situation there is not the best right now, so I want to do something to give them back.
 
My attempt with English B level, hf.

Is the worst consequence of winning the Tour a much higher number of interviews you have to do?
I'm running out of fingers to be able to count them. It’s kind of a nuisance, but it’s part of every sport. The sooner you accept this and get used to the role, the easier it is for you.

You came home this week, where exactly are you?
Urška and I arrived to some cold weather. It's a little too hot in Monaco, we're more used to getting a little cold for the end of the season. At the moment we are in Styria, where it is a little sunnier.

You grew up on Klanec pri Komendi, considering that you are a top cyclist, the word klanec (=slope) kept you.
My brother and I always joked that we lived on a slope, we also had other unfunny jokes. Now everyone associates the word slope with my successes and good cycling climbs. I don't look at it too much.

The ascent, which is quite close to Klanec, Krvavec, means a lot to you.
It’s not a pass because the road doesn’t go over to the other side, so you have to go back the same way. This is really one of my favorite slopes for both training and a beautiful view.

The season is barely over, preparations for the new season will begin soon. How long do top cyclists take a vacation completely without a bike?
This varies from competitor to competitor. Some take virtually no vacation without a bike as they have to be active all the time. Urška and I are pretty close to that. We took six days without a bike this year when we were in Dubai. But some also take three to four weeks when they are completely without a bike and start a new season like that. I like to be active, even during the off-season, otherwise the shock is too great when we start full training again.

Speaking of rest, after the end of the Tour, your coach San Millan revealed that you were already in such top form in May that he asked you to take a week off and leave the bike aside. Did you obey him?
I didn’t leave the bike completely alone. I went on an active vacation to Bovec, where I had a bicycle with me. Urška and I took a walk, we drove up and down a little, but really nothing excessive. So much so that both body and head rested. I wasn't completely without a bike, if I was then I don't know what I would do with myself all day.

During quarantine, there were quite a few interesting challenges among cyclists, such as everesting, in which the goal was to overcome a total altitude of 8848 meters, as measured by the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest.
This challenge has really been very popular this year, both on platforms and on the roads. Both are very difficult, you manage to do it faster on the trainer. I'm not going to do that yet because I don't see much point in it. It doesn’t fit my type of training, I have no intention of doing this challenge at the moment. Without a doubt, it was interesting to observe the time differences between the riders.

The pandemic caught you in the Race of the United Arab Emirates, when you just got a mountain stage, and after the race ended prematurely, you won second place. For a long time it was not clear in what form the season would be carried out, if at all. But given all the preparations you’ve made, is there any hint that you believed the Tour would be carried out?
At first, we didn’t even know how long we were going to stay locked up in that hotel room when the pandemic broke out. At first we hoped to be able to race as early as April, but there was less and less hope. In the meantime, there was a period in which we didn't know if we would be able to do any race at all. Teams started cutting salaries, it was a whole "casino". We were then told that the season would start in August. We were getting ready for the races to really go out. In the meantime, you have to train and have some goals, so we believed and prepared for the races at full speed. We can be happy with the number of races that were eventually completed.

Including the Tour, which brought so much to Slovenian cycling. It is still an unforgettable TT that brought you the ultimate victory. Reader Mitja asks you if you had any special speech or motivation, did you perhaps think of your girlfriend?
Yes, I often think of my girlfriend. When it’s really hard for me, I motivate myself best by counting down the kilometers to the finish line. Everyone has to find their motive, I think what works for me is the mentioned countdown. Many times I really thought of Urška, especially when the stages are really long.

But how did you tackle this countdown on the TT, on which you still drove without a computer?
In fact, we knew the route very well, we knew that the first 30 kilometers would be flat, and the last six kilometers was a really difficult climb. It was necessary to go full speed, it was the last real stage on the Tour, it was necessary to go to the limit to the best of our ability. The first key move was that we had already decided to change the bike before the preparations. I decided to have only one sprocket on the wheel for the TT, I chose the rims and with what transmissions I will drive the flat part. In this part of the route I had a meter on which I observed my developed Watts, I was not allowed to swing too much, even though it was a supposedly flat, we still climbed and descended a bit. But when we changed bikes, I knew the slope was killer. The climb was really steep, I told the mechanic to remove everything, the weight of the bike was optimal, I had no distractions. If I drove badly, I might be even more worried, maybe I would go too far into the red. I went by my feeling. I trained a lot, I knew my abilities, so I decided not to use the computer for the last six kilometers.

That was probably somewhat decided already at the Slovenian time trial championships?
There, we roughly started thinking about the Tour. For me, it was a good workout to change bikes. We got our first feelings, although we changed the exact opposite at the time - we went from a road bike to a TT. The team and I prepared well for the Tour.

Reader David is interested in what weight you had on the Tour. You have had the same weight stated on Strava for several years. This figure is quite interesting for those who like to calculate the developed power in difficult slopes.
There are always masters on Twitter who quickly calculate everything. It’s no secret, in the first week of the Tour my weight was around 65.5 kg, and in the last week I weighed around 66 or a bit more. The body retains little water because the effort is so severe. This year my weight fluctuated much less than last year on the Vuelta.

You post a lot of information on Strava yourself, which always gives me the association that this is your answer to doping questions. What is it like to compete in a sport where top riders pay in advance for the sins of their fathers (whether you’re clean or not, every winner wonders if he’s really fair)?
It’s a really awkward topic. Just last week, I was watching a new documentary about Armstrong. I’ve found out why people don’t really trust us. When the stories around Armstrong and Pantani were happening, I wasn’t old enough yet to realize what it was all about. People find it hard to forget, it’s been a really long time. At first, both were believed, followed by Floyd Landis, Contador also had problems with that. I understand that people do not trust us. But it's a really nice sport.

In an interview with Marca, you said that you had mixed feelings when you beat Primož Roglič. When have you first heared of him?
After his fall, when he needed the bike to regenerate. He was immediately good, he was only getting better every year. I personally liked him as a cyclist, then he went to Jumbo Vismo, he immediately started winning, he immediately got a TT on the Giro. I wished I could be as good as he was someday. He opened the door wide to Slovenian cycling. I really respect him. In the end, we raced against each other, each for his own team. That's right. Everyone wished well to Primož to win the Tour, but in the end it turned out that way. It ended the way it did. In the end, I had really mixed feelings. When he crossed the finish line and I saw his expression on his face. That is the sport.

You and Primož are the bearers of the Slovenian cycling renaissance. They won three of the last four grand tours. How do you observe this rebirth from the first line?
Slovenian cyclists were viewed a little worse in the past. They were taken as if they were not too welcome on the World Tour. Brajkovič, Valjavec, Hauptman and Hvastija made good results, they showed that they can race. Roglič then set Slovenia very high. I hope that it will be easier for our younger riders to transfer to the World Tour, that it will be easier to accept and treat them in the same way as e.g. Italians, Spaniards or French.

The red thread of this season are the extremes. What do you think of the word extreme?
It was a really extreme season! This year's results were really good, but I don't think only of myself and Primož. Everyone who was in the world series was part of the big story. We made a big leap at the World Championships and one-day classics. It was a really extreme season.

You mentioned the World Cup, there you really showed national team progress, it was clear that you had several scenarios ready. One was also your attack in the penultimate round. Did you believe at that moment that you could get to the finish line on your own?
It was a really tough race. You have less power and energy each round. I didn’t feel super good, but good enough. For it to be a good escape, of course I would have liked someone from another country to join me, which would make it easier for me and harder for those in the main. In the end, no one dared to go with me that far from the finish line. There were no radios, so I didn’t know what was going on. I knew I wasn’t going to make it to the finish line, I wanted to last as long as possible, with that I wanted to make the race harder. The Belgians were so strong that they almost easily caught me.

You differ from the last few winners of the Tour in that you have quite pronounced ambitions in the biggest one-day races. Your disappointment at the Liege-Bastogne-Liege race was clear, where you were left without a fight for a possible victory due to the Alaphilippe maneuver.
I really like one-day races, maybe even more than three-week ones. There you know you will suffer for 23 days. A one-day race, however, you know will go one day to the fullest, with more than six hours of racing ahead of you. I have these ambitions to prove myself in these races as well. I drove the Liege for the first time last year, it was a really long race for me. I got 18th place, which made me really happy. I could even reach victory this year. Unfortunately, Alaphilippe was too nervous. He has been making mistakes and stupid things for the last 15km. I could have won too, in the end I had to brake in the sprint because Marc Hirschi almost kicked me off the bike. In the end, third place was great anyway.

Do you talk to cyclists about such moves in such cases?
No, I haven't had a chance to talk to Alaphilippe. He immediately went to the press and to the stage for the winners. I myself went to the bus, when I found out I was third, I went back to the stage and Alaphilippe was gone. Even if I met him, I wouldn’t talk about it. He knows he made a mistake, I won’t be smart to the world champion telling him he messed up.

He was similarly careless a few days later when he fell in the Race of Flanders. There was also some bad luck involed in that situation. This year's season produced some really bad falls. There is a lot of talk about safety all the time. How well is security taken care of?
I know the organizers are trying. We have a CPA community that cares about our security. Accidents often occur, the circumstances are different. In Poland, the fences could certainly be better placed, they did't have to place the finish line on a downhill. Even my mom says the finish could always be uphill. The organizers want to do a show, but it’s not always successful. Cyclists have to be careful themselves, we know what awaits us, we have to be careful all the time.

Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert fought for victory in the above-mentioned Race of Flanders. The two riders shared the last six titles of the world cyclocross champion. This is not a completely unknown discipline for you, you were the national champion two years ago. Are you still training this discipline?
Too little. Sometimes in the winter I drive around, do a technical exercise. It’s a discipline where you have to be just as committed as you are on the road. If you want to race globally with van der Poel and van Aert, you have to be a keen cyclocross rider, you have to be a talent, you have to train every day. If only a few more races were possible in Slovenia, but there aren't any due to covid. Otherwise, it is a very interesting discipline. I would like it to develop a little more here. We know that the level in our country is not even close to that in Belgium.

Toni Gruden asks you, when will you be competing in two three-week races in one season?
This could happen as early as next year with a combination of Giro and Vuelta, but in our team it’s a little different. We have a sponsor of the UAE, for whom the Tour is the most important, followed by their home race UAE Tour. They want the best riders in these races. We’ll see how we decide together. In the future, there will definitely be some double grand tours.

But it is probably clear that Tour is the goal for next year?
I don't know exactly yet. Since I won this year, it would definitely be fine to drive with number one on the back next year.

Due to a really remarkable start to your career in three-week races, many fans have already thought that you can become a real collector of victories and become part of the historical elite. What do you think about that?
You never know, I may fall in training tomorrow and break something. It is necessary to go from day to day. Of course, goals must be set. But I dare not think too much about it. I’m motivated for years to come, I want to prove myself, but you never know when a bad season may come. Anything can happen and it takes away your desires and goals. Care must be taken in this.

There is a lot of talk about your ability to regenerate. How much is this "gift of nature" and how much is it part of a planned workout?
It’s a very big part of nature, it’s very much in the genes. My ancestors were not exactly athletes tho. Somehow I was born with this gift of regeneration. I have a good metabolism, I haven’t gone too deep into this matter myself, but if the coach tells me that’s the case, I believe him. Because of this, I can train more, but you have to be smart and careful not to overtrain, but to upgrade the skills you have. There is a lot to do with training, especially if you work smart.

How do you want the cycling world to remember you? What kind of mark do you want to leave in Slovenian cycling?
I want to give something back to Slovenian cycling. I grew up in Rog, where I had everything available. I want to give that back to our cycling. In fact, it is not the happiest thing right now, I want to give it something back.
Yours is better than mine of course...haha.
Good job :)
 

cen

Nov 24, 2020
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Where do you find these? xD

Not much about pro cycling, more about life itself, here you go.

Hello to Tadej Pogačar, my fellow countryman. What are your childhood memories?
Pretty nice memories. I grew up in a family with older brother and younger sister. I did a lot of sports, got friends at school. I got everything I wished for. I grew up with sport and that path led me to cycling.

What does cycling mean to you personally?
It is a big part of my life. I am not sure what I would do if I did not have a bike. I always wanted to be a pro cyclist so I am happy I made it and where I am now. I try some cyclocros in the winer and some mountain biking, but not much. Just to switch the rhytm a little bit.

What does it mean to you to tackle the challenges and your life path?
That is one of the most important things. To try and fulfill your dreams. Stay concentrated, not drift off the path and achieve your goals.

Where do you get the strength to follow your goals?
Not sure. Probably from people around me. Family, friends, the team, they give me extra motivation.

How do you deal with obstacles?
In my career I did not have many obstacles. There are occasional falls but whenever something bad happens you know there are many more chances ahead so you should not give up. If you can't bring yourself up this year there is always next year.

You are 22 years old. How do you balance your professional and private life?
You have to give up the partying with your friends and whatnot, if you want to achieve anything in professional sports you have to pretty much forget about it. With the training and travelling there is not much time left for other things. I tried to attend faculty also but it was simply not possible due to lack of time.

What would you say are three most fundamental values in life?
Family, friends, home, beeing free on the bike.

What does that mean?
To get on the bike and be independent of anything but yourself and your bike, enjoying nature, testing your limit and doing what you like. That means a lot.

What is your message to kids in this times?
It is unpleasant situation but we have to go through it, it is an ordeal we need to go through and it will be over sooner or later. We just need to accept it, find something to do and work together.
 

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