Press on Pogačar win: Apex of Slovenian sporting achievements

Ljubljana/Maribor/Koper – Tadej Pogačar’s second Tour de France win dominates the front pages of Slovenian newspapers on Monday. Commentators hail him as one of the biggest sporting stars of all time and predict that the Slovenian team is likely to swoop up cycling medals at the Tokyo Olympics.

In a front-page commentary entitled Power of a True Champion, Delo says Pogačar is “a sports giant, a genius who not only wins but does it in style,” noting that although his team, UAE Emirates, is not among the biggest, he has managed to make it the strongest on the road.

In Tokyo, Delo expects Pogačar and Slovenia’s other cycling star, Primož Roglič, to join forces and produce the kind of performance Pogačar showed at the Tour.

Dnevnik, which describes Pogačar as one of the best cyclists of all times, notes that he had made the global elite of cyclists appear “like a group of nice amateurs who are trying more or less successfully to break away and at least eke out a stage win”.

It says in the commentary Tadej Pogačar v Luka Dončić that the Slovenian Olympic team, which harks back to the American Dream Team in basketball, is now among the top contenders for cycling medals and would vie for public attention with the Slovenian basketball team led by NBA star Luka Dončić.

“Tadej Pogačar v Luka Dončić. Two athletes with extraordinary seasons behind them who have come to the Far East to pick up medals.”

In Primorske Novice, the commentator similarly says in Paris Is Slovenia, Tokyo Will Become So that Pogačar could become the “champion of the future,” his reign having only just started.

The paper says it has been a long time since Slovenia had so many medal contenders. The Olympic Games may be less prestigious for cyclists than the Tour, but “every Olympic medal has its weight”.

Večer, in the commentary Shattered to Pieces, says Pogačar had so utterly dominated the Tour after “unprecedented and unforgettable moments in the first Alpine stage” it looks likely he could win several more in the coming years.

The paper also touches on doping in cycling and criticises police stings of some of the teams. It notes that the shadow of Lance Armstrong still looms large over the cycling world and it is understandable anti-doping authorities are keeping a close eye, but the stings were “baseless and consequently did not produce results” and ended up eroding the reputation of the anti-doping battle.