21 things you didn't know about Tadej Pogačar

The chilled out former unicyclist with a penchant for cleaning up at the biggest races. Read on...

Fleche Wallonne
(Image credit: David Stockman / Getty Images)
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Date of birth21 September 1998
Height1.76 metres
PartnerUrška Žigart
Turned pro2017
Team UAE Team Emirates
Bike Colnago V4Rs
UCI wins58
Stage race wins13 (inc two Tours de France)
Grand Tour stage wins12

One of a new generation of winners, Tadej Pogačar already has two overall Tour de France victories under his belt despite his relatively tender 24 years.

Even on the bike he is known a happy-go-lucky nature that seems to run counter to his ability to fight it out among the sports highest echelons and win the biggest races.

The Slovenian has enjoyed a hugely successful early-season this year with wins at Paris-Nice, Tour of Flanders and Amstel Gold among others. And then he crashed at Liège-Bastogne-Liège and broke his wrist, giving rise to a six-week hiatus from racing.

He hopes to reach this year's Tour de France at full strength to challenge for a third title.

Amstel Gold Race

Pogačar after winning Amstel Gold this year

(Image credit: Marcel Van Hoorn / Getty Images)

1. Pogačar has two sisters and one brother, Tilen, whom he followed into cycling at the local club KD Rog.

2. As a youngster his hero was Alberto Contador, and he would sometimes make believe he was the Spaniard while out riding.

3. Aged 18 he joined the Slovenian Ljubljana team, who rode at Continental level. Even at that time there was talk of a pre-contract for Pogačar with UAE Team Emirates.

4. It's not all cycling – Pogačar used to enjoy organising trips to the local kart track for the team.

5. The young Pogačar and his brother were well known for being nifty unicyclists and would often entertain passers by. No wonder he can pull a good wheelie.

Tour Down Under 2019

Signing on for one of his first races as a WorldTour rider – the Tour Down Under 2019

(Image credit: Peter Mundy / Getty Images)

6. He won a number of races on GC in his second year at Ljubljana, when he was 19, including the Tour de l'Avenir.

7. However, his first senior 'en ligne' victory came the following season, after he had joined UAE Team Emirates. He won stage two of the Volta ao Algarve em Bicicleta, following it up with victory on the GC and young rider classification.

8. He has one Olympic medal – so far, at least – in his palmares: a bronze from the Tokyo road race.

9. He began his career on a small green Billato bike, but these days rides a Colnago V4Rs with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 and ENVE wheels.

10. He is the only rider ever to have broken the 6,000 point ceiling for UCI points.

Mike Woods Brandon McNulty

In the break with Brandon McNulty (l) and Mike Woods on his way to bronze at Tokyo 2020

(Image credit: Tim De Waele / Getty Images)

11. He can also turn his hand to cyclo-cross – he was the Slovenian national champion in 2019 and more recently won the inaugural Ciklokros Ljubljana.

12. He has his own clothing outlet where you can buy a range of sporty togs from pullovers to joggers to tees, some bearing his slogan: 'Never quit trying and never give up".

13. Each year Pogačar rides around 30,000 kilometres – that's 18,600 miles and, whichever way you cut it, a very long way.

14. His maximum power output is 1,253 watts, which he achieved at the Tokyo Olympics.

15. The fastest he has ever ridden is 106kph (65.8mph). Downhill, of course. 

16. When Pogačar won the Tour de France in 2020, he became the second youngest rider ever to do so. He was 21yrs and 365 days old when he won in Paris. If that sounds odd, it's because 2020 was a leap year and his birthday was the next day. And yes, his birthday is in September – but so was the Tour de France in that covid-hit year.

Stage 13

Battling with Sepp Kuss and Primož Roglič on stage 13 of the 2020 Tour de France

(Image credit: Tim De Waele / Getty Images)

17. He also became the first Slovenian rider to win the race, while his compatriot Primož Roglič became the first Slovenian to finish second, 59 seconds behind him.

18. Pogačar is that rare breed who is equally at home winning Classics as he is winning Grand Tours. The last rider to win the Tour of Flanders as well as the Tour in their career was Eddy Merckx. No wonder Pogačar draws comparisons with the 'Cannibal'.

19. An active Strava user, Pogačar has quite the collection of KoMs, all over Europe. 2,237 to be precise.

20. His longest posted ride on the platform is the 2020 Milan-San Remo at 304km (189.5 miles). In typically jokey Tadej style, he called it 'Snack Ride. MSR 12th'.

21. No one can say Pogačar isn't well remunerated for his supreme talent. He earns an estimated €6 million a year, reputedly the highest paid rider in the peloton. That's £5,200,000 or, if you like, a cool £14,300 per day. Every day.

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