Pogačar returns to competition in style
Two-time Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar returned to competition in style after suffering a wrist fracture in April. He was in a league of his own in the national championship time trial on 22 June, finishing more than five minutes ahead of his nearest rival.
"This was a good test for the Tour de France. I wanted to improve on my time three years ago. I set a goal and achieved it... This is not rocket science. It is possible to ride quite fast. Everything ran smoothly," he said.
The 15.7-kilometre time trial had an altitude difference of over 800 metres and Pogačar finished the route in 29 minutes and 43 seconds, almost a minute and a half faster than three years ago.
Pogačar is the defending champion at the Tour de France, which starts on 1 July. With just over a week to go before the first stage, he said he hardly feels his wrist injury any more.
"My hand is better. It is not perfectly OK, but it doesn't bother me in training. For now all I have to be mindful of is not to fall or hit the bone... I hope it will be the same in the Tour. The legs are fine, I'm in solid form, the head is great. I'm looking forward to the race," he said.
The time trial was also a family affair for Pogačar as his fiance Urška Žigart won the women's competition on the same route with a time of 38 minutes and 19 seconds. For both Pogačar and Žigart, this is the third national time trial title.