After all, Slovenia also faces the Adriatic Sea. So, it should come as no surprise that the Tirreno-Adriatico has been a hunting ground for Slovenian riders for the past four years. Or rather, a hunting ground for the two riders who have been monopolising not only stage races, but also the most prestigious classics on the international calendar: Tadej Pogačar and Primoz Roglič. The former has won the Race of Two Seas for the second year in a row – something that hadn’t happened since Vincenzo Nibali’s double in 2012 and 2013 – while the latter won the 2019 edition.
We are running out of adjectives to describe Tadej Pogačar, as he has been winning far and wide for two years now. One impressive statistic is that of his last eight stage races, he has won seven. This means that since the Tour de France 2020, which he won in the final time trial (against Roglič), he has not been on the top step of the podium in a multi-day race until the Tour of the Basque Country 2021 (won by Roglič), when he finished third.
“I’m not unbeatable,” he said today shortly before lifting the Trident of Neptune to the sky, but at the moment it’s hard to believe him. His mouth is watering in anticipation of Milano-Sanremo… everyone on the Poggio will be looking to him, waiting for a shot that could carve his name further into the history of this sport’s greatest.