Tadej Pogačar will lead the charge for Slovenia as he attempts to win his, and his country's, first ever rainbow jersey at the road World Championships later this month.
But he will attempt to do so without the help of both Matej Mohorič and Primož Roglič in the Slovenian team.
Roglič is ruled out through injuries he obtained in a crash at the Vuelta a España for which he then publically blamed Fred Wright (Bahrain Victorious), whereas Wright’s Bahrain Victorious teammate and 2022 Milan-San Remo winner Mohorič ruled himself out of the competition last weekend.
Mohorič contracted the Epstein Barr virus after the Tour de France and is gradually making a recovery from the illness. The 27-year-old took a breath-taking victory at Milan-San Remo earlier this year with a daredevil descent off of the famous Poggio climb.
Meanwhile despite being two key allies down, two-time Tour de France champion and UAE Team Emirates star Pogačar proved himself as being in scintillating form last weekend as he stormed to a sensational victory at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal.
Remarkably, Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) lost out to the Slovenian in the final sprint for the line in Canada in a telling sign before the road race in Wollongong, Australia.
Despite missing out on a third straight Tour de France title this summer, Pogačar is still without question a huge favourite for the road title and has demonstrated his killer instinct in one-day events on multiple other occasions. His palmarès includes two monument victories at Liège–Bastogne–Liège as well as Il Lombardia.
The Slovenian cycling federation has named a 17 rider squad, with six riders due to race in the elite men’s road race alongside Pogačar and four names in the women's elite category.
Pogačar is due to be supported by Jan Tratnik, Domen Novak, Jan Polanc, David Per and Jaka Primožič. The women’s elite road race team consists of Eugenia Bujak, Urška Pintar, Špela Kern, and Urška Žigart.
The route for the road race in Wollongong features the significant Mount Keira climb along with others later in the course. With the climbing on offer and their star man in lightning form, Slovenia will undoubtedly be a team to watch when the men’s road race gets underway.
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