17 Jul 2022, 10:53 AM

STA, 17 July 2022 - Slovenia's rider Primož Roglič has been forced to pull out of the Tour de France for a second year in a row due to injuries sustained in a crash in the chaotic 5th stage on the Paris-Roubaix cobbles.

Ahead of the 15th stage on Sunday, Roglič's team Jumbo-Visma announced the 31-year-old was quitting the race to be able to recover from his injuries.

Roglič had a bad crash when he hit a hay bale that appeared to have been moved onto the road by a race motorbike in stage 5. He dislocated his shoulder, put it back in himself and continued the race but lost over two minutes overall to his key rivals.

Roglič then moved into a support role and kept riding despite his pains. Ahead of today's stage he was 21st overall, with a gap of 33 minutes and 39 seconds behind his teammate Jonas Vingegaard, who took the yellow jersey from the defending Slovenian champion Tadej Pogačar in stage 11.

"I'm proud of my contribution to the current standings and I trust that the team will realise our yellow and green ambitions. Thanks to everybody for your great support," Roglič said in a brief message on pulling out.

14 Jul 2022, 10:44 AM

STA, 13 July 2022 - Slovenia's cycling star Tadej Pogačar lost the yellow jersey of the overall leader at the world's most prestigious road cycling race on Wednesday as he finished the eleventh stage in seventh place. The 23-year-old defending champion was 2 minutes and 53 seconds behind the winner, Jonas Vingegaard from Denmark, who claimed the jersey.

The stage from Albertville to the Granon mountain pass proved too much of a challenge for Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), who had to concede victory to Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma).

The outcome of the stage was decided on the 11-kilometres ascent to Col du Granon Serre Chevalier, with Vingegaard taking the lead a few kilometres before the finish line, while Pogačar was struggling hard in the last kilometres and fell well behind.

Vingegaard had previously mastered the Telegraphe and Galibier mountain passes well but Pogačar managed to respond to his attacks.

However, at Granon, the Danish attacked about 6 kilometres before the finish line, with Pogačar unable to respond. After losing his rhythm, he was unable to bounce back, which enabled some other competitors to overtake him as well.

"I got attacked by Team Jumbo-Visma, they played it well today. Tactically they did a really good job. In the last climb, it was difficult. But we will see tomorrow, I want revenge. Le Tour is not over!" Pogačar tweeted after the race.

Vingegaard, who finished second at last year's Tour, was 59 seconds faster than Nairo Quintana (Arkea Samsic) from Columbia. France's Romain Bardet (Team DSM) was third.

Vingegaard is now 2:16 minutes ahead of Bardet overall, with Pogačar in third place, 2:22 minutes behind.

Slovenia's other star, Primož Roglič, joined Vingegaard in his attacks on Pogačar at the Telegraphe pass but then let go and finished 11 and a half minutes behind the winner.

Vingegaard said the plan had been to make the stage as challenging as possible, as this would benefit him and Roglič. "I took a lot of time, but I wouldn't have made it without my teammates. They were extraordinary since the start," he said.

On Thursday, cyclists will face another challenging stage from Briancon through Galibier to Alpe d'Huez.

11 Jul 2022, 11:41 AM

STA, 11 July 2022 - Slovenia's best climber Janja Garnbret has won her third World Cup lead event in a row as she dominated the event in Chamonix, France on Sunday to affirm her role as the favourite for the coming World Championship.

Already the most successful climber of all times, she now has 35 World Cup victories, of which 21 in the lead event and 14 in bouldering.

"I climbed smoothly in the final. When I know that girls competing before me have reached the top I can be quite nervous, but this time I was super calm and relaxed," she said.

09 Jul 2022, 09:31 AM

STA, 8 July 2022 - Slovenia's Tadej Pogačar, the man favoured to win the Tour de France, dominated the first mountain stage on Friday to extend his lead in the overall standings.

In a close finish to the Super Planche des Belles Filles, Pogačar defeated the Dane Jonas Vingegaard after yesterday's surprise win.

Slovenia's Primož Roglič was third, 12 seconds adrift.

In the overall standings, Pogačar now has a 35-second lead on Vingegaard, with third-placed Geraint Thomas of the UK a minute and ten seconds behind.

Roglič advanced to 13th place and has a gap of two minutes and 45 seconds on his compatriot.

08 Jul 2022, 10:56 AM

STA, 7 July 2022 - Slovenia's Tadej Pogačar won the sixth stage of the Tour de France to claim the yellow jersey of the overall leader in what is the 7th stage win at the world's most prestigious road cycling race for the 23-year-old defending champion.

In the longest stage of this year's Tour, between Binche in Belgium, to Longwy in France the UAE Team Emirates rider took the lead with a brilliant sprint, finishing the stage ahead of Michael Matthews of Australia and France's David Gaudu.

The two-time Tour de France winner had no real rival in the finishing sprint by a small brake-away group started by his compatriot Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma). Pogačar jumped ahead at the right moment to leave behind Matthews, the excellent BikeExchange-Jayco sprinter.

The stage was rather uneventful after Wednesday's chaotic cobbles stage, which cost Roglič dearly, but it was exceptionally fast from the start with no successful escape for 80 kilometres. Pogačar controlled the situation several times and Matej Mohorič made a try but unsuccessfully.

A breakaway group formed led by Wout Van Aert, the Belgian Jumbo-Visma rider who had been carrying the yellow jersey until today, but after an all out-effort he was the last to get caught by the peloton some 10 km to the finish line. The favourites then took the race under their control, getting rid of the best sprinters on the final climbs.

"Every time I win the feeling gets better. The first two hours after the start were crazy, it was tough [...] I thought Van Aert would get to the finish by himself, but this time we were stronger in the peloton. I felt good on the last climb, the team put me in an excellent position," said Pogačar after the win.

Ahead of Friday's stage he has a four-second gap ahead of American Neilson Powless with Dane Jonas Vingegaard of Jumbo-Visma in third, 31 seconds behind. Roglič advanced to 28th after dropping to 44th yesterday with a 2:27 minute lag.

04 Jul 2022, 10:30 AM

STA, 4 July 2022 - Slovenia finished the first round of qualifying for the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup second in their group having scraped past Sweden 84:81 after a nail-biting finish in Stockholm on Sunday. NBA stars Luka Dončić and Goran Dragić scored 51 points between them as Dragić bid farewell to the national team as its top overall scorer in history.

Slovenia won four out of six matches in the first round for a total of 10 points, which places them second in Group C after Finland, who have got 11. Sweden enter the second round with eight points, while Croatia dropped out.

In the second round, starting in late August, Slovenia will face off Germany, who finished top of their group with 11 points, Israel (9 points) and Estonia (8 points) in Group J, which also includes Sweden. The top three teams advance to the World Cup, to be held in Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines.

After crushing Croatia last Thursday, Slovenia were unable to show off the fast pace they have become known for, having quite some difficulty coping with Sweden's defence. Sweden also outdid Slovenia on rebounds (38:35) and turnovers with the point per turnover ratio at 19:11.

Slovenia soon opened a double-digit advantage (15:5) but the home team took the lead in the 17th minute for 30:29, retaining a balance in court up to the final seconds. Four minutes to the end of the match the teams were equalised at 75:75.

The superstar Dončić scored 31 points for Slovenia on 10-of-20 shooting from the field, with 10 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals, which gives him efficiency rating of 32. Scoring 11 points in the third quarter, he let Slovenia enter the final part of the game with a nine-point advantage (70:61).

However, after going up to 73:61, Slovenia allowed Sweden to come back. The key points for a win in the dying minutes of the game were scored by the Dragić brothers. Zoran scored a three-pointer for 80:79 and Goran took it to 82:81 in the final second on attack, and then went on to score two free throws two seconds before the final buzzer sound for the final score of 84:81.

In what was supposed to be his last appearance for the national side, captain Goran Dragić scored 20 points for a total of 1,581 points in his 81 official games for Slovenia since 2006, to outperform Jaka Lakovič's 1,564 points in 86 games.

Commenting on that for the STA, the 36-ear-old stayed modest: "That doesn't really matter. On the one hand, basketball is a team sport and wins count, but on the other hand, I'm sure the record will not stand for long, because here comes 'magic' Luka, who will easily surpass it."

On Slovenia's performance he said that despite the excellent atmosphere created by more than 8,500 fans at the Hovet arena that motivated the home team further to nullify Slovenia's early advantage and keep up until the end of the game, Slovenia won the match with their experience and knowledge.

"The games you need to win are usually the toughest, so we must be happy and keep on the path we have set out," he said.

Speaking to the STA later, he left the door open for his potential appearance for Slovenia in the Eurobasket. "I'm tempted to play in the Eurobasket," he said, ruling out his appearance in the August qualifying for the World Cup.

04 Jul 2022, 10:09 AM

STA, 3 July 2022 - Climber Janja Garnbret continued her winning streak on Saturday, taking first place in women's lead event in Villars, Switzerland, earning her 50th world cup podium and 34th first place.

The Olympic gold medallist was the only climber in male and female competition to make it to the top of both climbing walls in the semifinals and finals at yesterday's competition.

The win comes a week after her victorious return following a nearly three-month break. Last week, she became the only climber in the world with 33 world cup wins, further improving this distinction this weekend.

01 Jul 2022, 08:35 AM

STA, 1 July 2022 - Slovenia defeated Croatia 97:69 (33:8, 54:35, 76:51) in the fifth round of qualifying for the Basketball World Cup on Thursday, cheered on by a capacity crowd at the Stožice Arena that bid farewell to legend Goran Dragić. 

The home team set the pace in the first quarter, which it won with a 25-point gap after a 20:0 run driven by NBA stars Dragić and Luka Dončić.

The closest Croatia came to bouncing back was in the 19th minute, when the score was 49:35, but Slovenia soon opened a 20-plus point gap again.

Dončić was the top scorer with 21 points, 10 assists and 8 rebounds, with Dragić adding 19 points and Mike Tobey 18.

It was an emotional evening for Dragić, who thanked all team members for "recreating the magic of 2017," when Slovenia became European champions.

"We had good chemistry. We have to take advantage of that and win in Stockholm, then we'll see how to go on," he said, leaving the door open for joining the team at the EuroBasket 2022 in September.

Dončić said the Stožice Arena crowd had shown once again that Slovenians are "the best fans in the world. They've put on a spectacle and I enjoyed every minute of it."

Slovenia, which have three wins now, will wrap up this stage of qualifying by facing Sweden on Sunday before moving on to the next stage of the World Cup qualifying.

27 Jun 2022, 08:43 AM

STA, 26 June 2022 - Olympic gold medallist Janja Garnbret won the World Cup lead event in Innsbruck on Sunday, becoming the first competitor to notch up 33 World Cup wins in climbing.

The win comes after a long break - she last competed in early April - during which she eschewed bouldering events to focus on lead, in particular the European Championship in August.

The plan did not exactly work out since she got Covid after the previous World Cup event, but it appears she nevertheless got in shape.

While she did not reach the top, her score of 39+ was enough to beat the American Brooke Raboutou and the South Korean Chaehyun Seo, both of whom scored 27+.

Three more lead events are on the calendar before the European Championship.

19 Jun 2022, 16:13 PM

STA, 19 June 2022 - Slovenia's star rider Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) has won the 28th Tour of Slovenia to defend the champion title from last year. He won the last stage on Sunday between Vrhnika, central Slovenia, and Novo Mesto, SE, after crossing the finish line together with compatriot Matej Mohorič (Bahrain-Victorious).

Pogačar, 23, a two-time Tour of France winner, finished the race three seconds ahead of Pole and his teammate Rafal Majka on aggregate.

His second Tour of Slovenia victory makes him one of the five racers that have won the Slovenian road race more than once - Italian Diego Ulissi (2011, 2019) as well as Slovenians Primož Roglič (2015, 2018), Jure Golčer (2006, 2008) and Mitja Mahorič (2003, 2004).

After managing all the pitfalls on the 155.7km route to the traditional finish in the city of Novo Mesto, including Trška Gora hill (2km/9%), he was also the best in the finishing sprint alongside Mohorič and Majka. Both Slovenians sprinted hard, but Pogačar was stronger and put on a green jersey.

Winners of Tour of Slovenia

1993  Boris Premužič (Slo)
1994  Tobias Steinhauser (Ger)
1995  Valter Bonča (Slo)
1996  Lorenzo di Silverstro (Ita)
1997  /
1998  Branko Filip (Slo)
1999  Tim Jones (Zim)
2000  Martin Derganc (Slo)
2001  Faat Zakirov (Rus)
2002  Evgeni Petrov (Rus)
2003  Mitja Mahorič (Slo)
2004  Mitja Mahorič (Slo)
2005  Przemyslav Niemiec (Pol)
2006  Jure Golčer (Slo)
2007  Tomaž Nose (Slo)
2008  Jure Golčer (Slo
2009  Jakob Fuglsang (Den)
2010  Vincenzo Nibali (Ita)
2011  Diego Ulissi (Ita)
2012  Jani Brajkovič (Slo)
2013  Radoslav Rogina (Cro)
2014  Tiago Machado (Por)
2015  Primož Roglič (Slo)
2016  Rein Taaramäe (Est)
2017  Rafal Majka (Pol)
2018  Primož Roglič (Slo)
2019  Diego Ulissi (Ita)
2020  /
2021  Tadej Pogačar (Slo)
2022  Tadej Pogačar (Slo)

- several-time winners:
- 2 victories:
Diego Ulissi (Ita), Primož Roglič, Jure Golčer, Mitja Mahorič,
Tadej Pogačar (Slo).
19 Jun 2022, 13:20 PM

STA, 19 June 2022 - Slovenian ultra-distance cyclist Marko Baloh, 54, has won the Race across the West in the US, which he took part in for the third time, clocking in 59 hours and 29 minutes.

The 1,497km race had more than 16,000 metres of climbing, running along the same route as the first part of the Race Across America (RAAM).

In a statement, Baloh said that apart from winning the race and setting a record in the 50+ age group, the goal was to get as close as possible to the average speed he achieved when he first won it in 2014 (28.9km per hour).

While the first two goals were achieved, Baolh said the third was not within his reach due the extreme heat.

He held on to his lead on the third and final night of the race in the solo competition, winning the stage at the same time as Team Alaska, which won the team category.

Baloh decided to take part because the Red Bull Trans Siberian Extreme race from Moscow to Vladivostok was again rescheduled while organising participation in RAAM in such a short time was not feasible.

He is happy with the result and with the fact that he managed to keep in touch with the competition at RAAM, which bodes well for the rest of the season and for next year. After three years of waiting, he will join in 2023 the Red Bull Trans Siberian Extreme.

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