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Roglic beats Pogacar in first race for 100 days

Jack Elton-Walters
22 Jun 2020

Primoz Roglic pushed Tadej Pogacar into second at the Slovenian National Championships, winning the first race in 100 days

In the first proper road race since Stage 7 of Paris-Nice on 14th March 2020, Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) was crowned Slovenian National Road Race Champion after getting the better of Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates) – who crashed earlier in the race – on the summit finish to Ambrož pod Krvavcem by 10 seconds.

Matej Mohorič (Bahrain-Mclaren) was a further 19 seconds down in third.

The women's race had a similar deficit between first and second with Urša Pintar (Alé BTC Ljubljana) taking the win by 14 seconds over Špela Kern (Lviv Cycling Team). However, it was another nine minutes until the podium was completed as Pintar's teammate Urška Žigart rolled in 9:15 down on the winner.

Slovenia should not have been alone in holding its National Championships this weekend but the coronavirus pandemic means that many nations have postponed or cancelled their races. While some hold out hope of awarding jerseys this season, many have resigned themselves to having a gap in the list of winners.

Roglic was pleased with both his win and the chance to race again. 'It is really wonderful that the situation allows us to finally race again and to do what we do best, racing our bikes,' he said in a press release from his Jumbo-Visma team.

'I am therefore very happy that I was able to take the national title in my first race of the season,' Roglic added, highlighting the fact that he had foregone the early season races that went ahead before national lockdowns suspended the season.

'It was a tough race with a very tough final climb. Given the results in the spring, Tadej was the favourite and it was certainly not easy to beat him. I had recon-ed the climb well in the past few days, so I knew where I had to attack.

'The fact that I take the victory here in my first race of the season feels very good. I am definitely not in top form yet, but I am already looking forward to the upcoming races. I also want to thank the team for making the effort to support me in Slovenia. That means a lot to me.'

The WorldTour is currently scheduled to return with Strade Bianche on Saturday 1st August, kickstarting a whirlwind few months of racing as the UCI attempts to cram in all three Grand Tours, the five Monuments and plenty of racing besides.

The Slovene colours will likely be seen at the Tour de France as Roglic forms part of a tripartite with teammates Tom Dumoulin and Steven Kruijswijk. The Dutch duo have both been on the podium in recent years. Fans of the Dutch team will be hoping the multi-leader approach works better for them than it did Movistar in past seasons.