"After Primoz Roglic won last year, it’s amazing to have two consecutive Slovenian winners of the Giro d'Italia" - Tadej Pogacar proud to represent his nation

The finales of the Giro d'Italia have been incredibly Slovenian-themed over the last two years. Firstly, on Monte Lussari in 2023, Primoz Roglic overturned a deficit to Geraint Thomas and claimed the Maglia Rosa then in 2024, Tadej Pogacar destroyed his rivals again on Monte Grappa to emulate his compatriot.

“It hasn’t quite sunk in yet to be honest. I think once I get home and spend some time recovering after a week or so it will sink in," Pogacar reflects of his dominant 2024 Giro d'Italia victory in a Q&A with the National News. "My first time in Rome. An awesome city, wearing the Pink jersey after Primoz Roglic won last year, it’s amazing to have two Slovenian consecutive winners of the Giro. We as Slovenians could never have imagined this, so we can be very proud, and we look to keep progressing and getting better.”

So dominant was Pogacar in the Giro that his eventual winning margin was 9:56 to second-placed Daniel Martinez, a vast difference to the 14 seconds that Roglic took his Maglia Rosa with ahead of Geraint Thomas last year. "It is a race with such history, such importance, and we were competing with some of the best guys in the world," Pogacar says, shocked by his comprehensive victory. "I had lots of faith and confidence in our guys to produce a strong result over the three weeks of racing. But to win in the style that we did and working together so well, no I could never have imagined this. It was beautiful.”

That massive influx of Slovenian cycling fans who travelled to the Monte Grappa did not go unnoticed by Pogacar either. “It was a fantastic moment and experience. It was crazy with the atmosphere. The Tifosi, fans from all around the world, with a lot of Slovenian fans as well, meant I could enjoy this with great emotion," he recalls. "It was super cool, super nice, the organisation was pretty good, and I really enjoyed it with the team. All in all, it was a really great experience.”

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