Tadej Pogačar reveals race programme for the second half of the 2021 season

The Slovenian superstar will race his home tour before a defence of his Tour de France title

Tadej Pogačar at the Tour of the Basque Country 2021
(Image credit: David Ramos/Getty Images)

Tadej Pogačar has announced his race schedule for the second half of the 2021 season, confirming his aim to defend his Tour de France title.

Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) has just started a two-week training camp in Sestriere, Italy before he returns to racing for the first time since winning Liège-Bastogne-Liège in the spring.

The main goal for the Slovenian is hardly surprising, aiming to defend his Tour de France 2020 title, having dramatically won the race on the final time trial last year.

But before heading to Brittany for the Grand Départ, Pogačar will go back to Slovenia where he will race at the Tour of Slovenia and the National Championships.

>>> 'He needs to be aggressive': Egan Bernal must continue to attack in the mountains to win Giro d'Italia, says former coach

In a press release, Pogačar said: "I’m really excited to get back to racing. I have had a busy time since my last race at Liège but I feel good and ready to aim for my next targets. 

"Last time I raced the Tour of Slovenia my team-mate [Diego] Ulissi won it so UAE [Team Emirates] are the defending champions. I’m pleased to go back there - it’s a race I’d dearly love to win."

The Tour of Slovenia is an event that Pogačar has raced numerous times before for both UAE Team Emirates and his former team Ljubljana-Gusto, but he has not yet won his home race whereas his main rival, Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) has won it twice.

The 22-year-old has also not yet won the national road race title of Slovenia but has won the time trial title twice. He'll be hoping to take the road race jersey away from Roglič in time for the Tour.

Pogačar then, of course, heads to the Tour where he will come up against Roglič again, as well as an in-form Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) and Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic), among others.

The final race on the list is the Olympics in Tokyo. The road race suits him perfectly with climbs that go part of the way up Mount Fuji. It is not yet known if he will also go for the time trial too. 

Pogačar did not confirm if he will follow the Olympics with the Vuelta a España later in the year, a race in which he won three stages and finished third overall in 2019.

Thank you for reading 10 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.