Celje – The 27th Tour of Slovenia will start next Wednesday, taking riders, including Slovenia’s star Tadej Pogačar, along 800 kilometres in five stages, from north-eastern to central and south-western Slovenia. Preparations are fully under way for the race, which stakeholders also see as an opportunity for the country’s tourist promotion.
The tour was presented to the press on Wednesday at Celje Castle, where the 146-km Žalec-Celje stage will finish following a kilometre-long steep climb.
The tour’s director Bogdan Fink said the Žalec-Celje stage should be “the first serious test for riders for the overall victory”.
“We have a clear favourite in Pogačar, the Tour de France winner, with many other riders who have nothing to lose alongside,” he said, hoping the entire race proves interesting.
Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), who won the Tour de France last year, will also take part as ambassador of Slovenian tourism.
Expectations are not high only in terms of competition, but also development opportunities the race brings to Slovenia and the regions hosting it.
Slovenian Tourist Board (STO) director Maja Pak said last year the race was watched by ten million people on Eurosport, which raised Slovenia’s visibility.
Fink said this year viewers in more than 20 countries would be able to watch the tour, which is second highest ranked by International Cycling Union (UCI) standards.
Pak explained the promotional campaign would feature 230 30-second adds and around 80 adds for micro destinations hosting the tour around Slovenia.
The promotional campaign will also take place on social media, all under the “green” slogan, she added.
The mayors from the region around Celje said the tour was a major opportunity for their development and promotion through cycling as a sustainable means of transport.
Fink stressed the country was still amid the coronavirus epidemic, with riders already in a bubble and many coronavirus tests ahead.