Tadej Pogačar awarded Velo d'Or 2021 prize

The Slovenian star not only won the Tour de France but two Monuments in a dominant season

Tadej Pogačar
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tadej Pogačar has been awarded the 2021 Velo d'Or award, pipping fellow Slovenian and last year's winner Primož Roglič into second.

The Velo d'Or is cycling's equivalent to football's Ballon d'Or and is awarded by Vélo Magazine along with French newspaper L'Equipe and Tour de France organiser ASO. The winner is decided by a jury of cycling experts.

This year's prize was given to Pogačar as the UAE Team Emirates rider dominated the season with a commanding and successful defence of his title at the Tour de France, two Monument Classic victories (Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Il Lombardia) and many more besides as he got to an overall tally of 30 career wins at the age of just 23. 

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In second position was Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) who did not have quite as dominant a season as he did in 2020, but did manage his third Vuelta a España victory in a row as well as 12 victories this year, including the Olympic time trial title, to get his career tally up to 60 wins.

In third was Roglič's team-mate, Wout van Aert, who had an exceptional season but did miss out on some of his biggest objectives. The three stages of the Tour de France were the highlight; the Belgian victorious on a mountain stage over Mont Ventoux twice, an individual time trial, and a sprint stage on the Champs-Élysées no less.

The winner of the French Velo d'Or was, unsurprisingly, world champion Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck - Quick-Step). He managed fourth in the overall prize too as he wore the rainbow bands with pride, taking the opening stage of the Tour and wearing yellow again as well as defending his world title.

There is no women's award but rather all riders are put into one competition with Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) the only woman on the list. Another Dutch star that made the shortlist was track sprint sensation Harrie Lavreysen who won multiple Olympic, world and European titles in a season in which he was untouchable on the boards.

The other nominations were Tour of Flanders winner Kasper Asgreen, Giro d'Italia winner Egan Bernal, Paris-Roubaix winner and European champion Sonny Colbrelli, Tour de France green jersey and joint stage win record holder Mark Cavendish, Olympic champion Richard Carapaz, and the formidable Mathieu van der Poel.

The full results will be announced by Vélo Magazine at a later date.

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