Tadej Pogacar admitted that it was difficult for him after the victory over Roglic. As a boy, Pogacar watched Roglic on TV and cheered for him, and now he is in a very strange situation. "At the time, I didn’t really know what to feel.
Everything was tangled up in my chest, I had conflicting emotions," Pogačar told L’Équipe, as quoted by cyclingnews "I had been a Roglič fan since his first results. Between the ages of 15 and 20, I was shouting in front of my television for him to win, and now I was the one who had beaten him, who had denied him from achieving what he had been dreaming of for years… It was really strange.
I kept telling myself: 'That’s racing, that’s sport, it’s normal that I want to win'" Yet Roglic showed how great a man he is when he calmed Pogacar down after a race "In fact, it was Primož who managed to calm me," Pogačar said.
"A few minutes after he finished, I was in the television tent and he came to find me and give me a hug. I’ll never forget that moment… It’s as though he was giving me permission to enjoy it and telling me it wasn’t my fault."
Slovenians wanted Roglic to win
Pogacar believes that most Slovenians wanted Roglic to win the title more than Pogacar, but they are certainly happy because of Pogacar "They were a bit like me, they would have preferred Primož to win," he said.
"I realised it, I saw it on social media, they told me. But what can I do about it? Nothing." Pogacar says that there is no rivalry between them and that they cooperate together If we meet by chance [while out training], then one of us does a U-turn and we carry on together," Pogačar said.
"He’s a nice guy. He doesn’t like to put himself forward. I often talk with him in races. For me, he’s not like a rival." He says he is aware that people doubt anyone’s victories because a lot of things have happened in the past "All those who win the Tour are suspect and that’s because of the past of some of them.
That’s the history of cycling: there have been so many cases that it’s difficult for people to believe," Pogačar said. "We still need time to come out of that and gain respect again. We have to live with that.
We don’t talk about it among ourselves. We concentrate on what we’re doing: trying to be one of the best teams in the world, finding the best material, improving everything we can."