Tadej Pogačar storms to victory and overall lead on stage two of Tour of Slovenia 2021

The Tour de France defending champion attacked on the penultimate climb and soloed to victory

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

Tadej Pogačar stormed to victory on stage two of the Tour of Slovenia 2021 after attacking at the start of the penultimate climb with Jan Tratnik before dropping his fellow countryman to solo to the line.

Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) and his team put on a dominant performance with riders in the two chasing groups behind the Tour de France champion over the Svetina climb.

The first chase group had Pogačar's team-mates Diego Ulissi and Rafał Majka along with Matteo Sobrero (Astana-Premier Tech) with Sobrero being forced to do most of the work.

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After him, James Shaw (Ribble-Weldtite) was clear with another Pogačar helper, Jan Polanc in the wheel, they were joined over the top by a bigger chasing group including Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious).

The chasing groups came together on the descent with Mohorič pulling them together with the likes of Shaw joining Majka, Ulissi and Polanc as well as three others.

Meanwhile, further up the road, Pogačar powered up the final climb to win by over 1-20 ahead of the Mohorič led chase group.

The stage was perfectly controlled by UAE Team Emirates, they made sure they were following every move behind their main man, but they failed to lock out the podium on the stage, Ulissi sprinted to third with Majka and Polanc in seventh and 10th.

British rider, Shaw managed to sprint to sixth place on the day and was the highest placed of the UCI ProTeam riders.

Speaking after the stage, Pogačar said: "This stage was two years ago. It was even hotter then than today. Last year there were not good legs but today I felt super good so I tried to go full gas on the climb and got a gap. 

"Once I got the gap I took the descent a little bit carefully, but after the descent, it was full gas to the finish and I made it. I always knew that I needed to be careful today. 

"There was tricky descent, but when you’re alone it’s much easier to take the lines and there’s less risk, so actually it was good to be alone in the front on the descent. I really like this stage. 

"It’s a classic one of the Tour of Slovenia so I really like the course. I tried today and it was a success. I didn’t think it would be such a good advantage in the end but I’m really happy."

Stage one winner, Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious) was unsurprisingly dropped early on the climbs but will be aiming for more stage wins in the coming days.

The third stage of the Tour of Slovenia is another lumpy one but it favours a rider who can sprint but also get over the short climbs, Brežice to Krško over 165.8km

Tour of Slovenia 2021 stage two, Žalec to Celje, Celjski Grad (147km)

1. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates, in 3-32-03
2. Matej Mohorič (Slo) Bahrain Victorious, at 1-22
3. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
4. Matteo Sobrero (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech, all at same time
5. Tanel Kangert (Est) Team BikeExchange, at 1-25
6. James Shaw (GBr) Ribbe-Weldtite
7. Rafał Majka (Pol) UAE Team Emirates
8. Givanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè
9. Jonathan Lastra (Esp) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, all at same time
10. Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates, at 1-30.

General classification after stage two

1. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
2. Matej Mohorič (Slo) Bahrain Victorious
3. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates

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