Tadej Pogačar turns soigneur for women's World Championship road race

He handed up bottles for girlfriend Urška Žigart, and is also set to host a charity fundraiser for Slovenian flood relief

Tadej Pogačar takes bronze ahead of Mads Pedersen at the 2023 Glasgow World Championships
(Image credit: Dario Belingheri/Getty Images, Eurosport)

Tadej Pogačar might be among the world's best bike riders, but he isn't beneath handing out a bottle or two – especially if those bottles are for his girlfriend, WorldTour pro Urška Žigart.

The Slovenian double-Tour de France winner, who was second behind Jonas Vingegaard in this year's race, was spotted in the feed zone with the Slovenian contingent on Sunday's women's World Championship road race. He had bidons in hand and at the ready for the country's three-rider team, which included Žigart, fellow WorldTour rider Eugenia Bujak and Continental-level Urška Pintar.

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Pogačar and co were located on the Crow Road climb, the biggest climb of the race at 5.5km long, but found early on in the 154km course, well before the women reached Glasgow and began the seven laps of the city to decide the winner.

Ultimately, despite the efforts of Pogačar and the Slovenian crew, neither Žigart nor Pintar finished, but Bujak did manage 54th.

Handing up bottles is not the extent of Pogačar's altruism this month though. With Slovenian suffering terrible flooding in recent days – in what has been labelled the nation's worst ever natural disaster, the UAE Team Emirates rider has been moved to help.

As he explained in a short video on instagram, he will be signing autographs and posing for fan photos in the nation's capital, Ljubljana on 23 August, and donating €10 for every one. He intends to donate at least 10,000 to charity to help flood relief, he says.

"As many of you know, in Slovenia we have a big problem with the floods," he said. "A lot of homes were destroyed, a lot of damage… it's just a sad story in the last days."

On a personal level, Pogačar had a relatively successful World Championships, recording third in the road race behind winner Mathieu Van Der Poel (Netherlands) and silver medallist Wout Van Aert (Belgium).

He also rode the time trial, but was no match for golden boy Remco Evenepoel (Belgium), runner-up Filippo Ganna and third-placed Welsh wonder Josh Tarling (GBR), finishing down in 21st place.

His next scheduled race is the Bretagne Classic Ouest France on 3 September.

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After cutting his teeth on local and national newspapers, James began at Cycling Weekly as a sub-editor in 2000 when the current office was literally all fields. 

Eventually becoming chief sub-editor, in 2016 he switched to the job of full-time writer, and covers news, racing and features.

A lifelong cyclist and cycling fan, James's racing days (and most of his fitness) are now behind him. But he still rides regularly, both on the road and on the gravelly stuff.