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.

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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.