Ljubljana – Slovenian cyclist Primož Roglič has won the 2020 Vélo d’Or award by the French cycling magazine Vélo Magazine, given annually to the rider considered to have performed the best over the year.
The 31-year-old, who currently competes for the Dutch Team Jumbo-Visma, is the first Slovenian ever to win the Golden Bicycle award since its induction in 1992.
Vélo Magazine announced on Thursday that Roglič had been selected by an international jury of sport journalists among 15 nominees, who also included Slovenian Tadej Pogačar, who won this year’s Tour de France.
Roglič was the runner-up in the prestigious race around France, while also winning the Vuelta a Espana and the prestigious Liège-Bastogne-Liège race this year. He also won the race around Spain in 2019.
The first Slovenian ever to win the award succeeds the 2019 winner Julian Alaphilippe of France, after finishing third in the selection last year behind Alaphilippe and Egan Bernal of Colombia.
“I took a look at the list of past winners, and this is truly a great award!” Roglič said as he commented on the news.
The leader in the rankings of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) thanked “all who have voted for me. As I understand, it is a jury of journalists from all around the world, which makes this especially touching.”
It was a season to remember for Roglič, which had been suspended for a while due to the Covid-19 pandemic, as he strung up five stage wins in the three-week Grand Tour races, increasing his tally to eleven stage wins.
He was congratulated on the award by the previous winner Alaphilippe, who said that the Slovenian had deserved the accolade.
The winner of the 2020 UCI Road World Championships in Italy’s Imola said that he had a great season last year, while this year the award belonged to Roglič considering his successes.