Tadej Pogacar rode into Paris in triumph, celebrating a second successive Tour de France triumph in a victory for a ‘nice boy’ from Slovenia.
Off the bike, Pogacar is a smiling, polite and articulate 22-year-old who resembles the cartoon character Tintin, but morphs into an enthralling winning machine once in the saddle.
With three stage wins on the 2021 Tour de France, Pogacar was fearless in the defence of his 2020 title, blowing away the old Sky-Ineos outfit that won seven titles in eight years.
It is easy to see why the UAE Team Emirates made Pogacar one of the highest paid cyclists in the world with a salary of five million euros per year putting him on a par with superstars Peter Sagan and Chris Froome.
Given the stage wins he has racked up on his three grand tours, three each on the 2019 Vuelta a Espana, and two consecutive Tours, Pogacar clearly has the will to win, the panache to launch ruthless attacks, the talent to make those attacks count, and the willpower to carry them through to fruition. In short he has a precious racing instinct that makes him dangerous once he’s in the saddle.
Pogacar is one of four children from a small town 20km away from Ljubljana, his mother was a French teacher and his father an industrial designer.
he double Tour de France champion’s elder brother Tilan initiated little ‘Tamau’ into cycling at age 9. e started on a bike that was too big for him—AFP