10 Best Slovenian Cyclists Of All Time

Best Slovenian cyclists

Slovenia has seen great success in cycling, with several riders making a name for themselves internationally. Let’s learn about the best Slovenian cyclists.

Slovenia has a rich history of cycling, with its riders achieving significant success both domestically and internationally. The first cycling club in Slovenia was established in 1885, and since then, the sport has grown in popularity. 

Slovenia’s success in cycling can be attributed to several factors, including the country’s mountainous terrain, which provides ideal training conditions for climbers, and a strong cycling culture that encourages young riders to take up the sport. Additionally, the country has invested heavily in cycling infrastructure, with a network of cycle paths and trails that provide safe and accessible routes for riders of all levels.

Riders such as Primož Roglič and Tadej Pogačar have continued to make headlines for their impressive performances in major cycling events. These athletes have put Slovenia on the map as a cycling powerhouse, and their successes have inspired a new generation of cyclists in the country. You might also be interested in our guide on famous Irish cyclists

Top Slovenian Cyclists

Top Slovenian cyclists

Slovenia has produced some of the best cyclists in the world. Here are the top Slovenian cyclists who have made a name for themselves:

1. Tadej Pogačar

Tadej Pogačar is a Slovenian cyclist who has made a huge impact in the cycling world. He is the first Slovenian and the second-youngest winner of the Tour de France. He won the prestigious race in 2020 and 2021, achieving enormous fame among cycling enthusiasts around the world.

In 2023, he also won the final mountain stage of the race. On top of his Tour de France wins, he also earned a bronze medal in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, which took place in 2021. 

2. Primož Roglič

Primož Roglič is another Slovenian athlete who has proven himself in the cycling world. He became the first Slovenian to win one of the big three-week races in 2019 when he won the Vuelta a España. He has also won the Tirreno–Adriatico in 2019 and 2023, the Tour of the Basque Country in 2018 and 2021, as well as Paris-Nice in 2022. 

3. Matej Mohorič

Matej Mohorič
Mohorič is known for his all-around ability and his strong performances in one-day races

Matej Mohorič is an unstoppable Slovenian cyclist. He won the U23 World Championships in 2012. His other accomplishments include winning three stages of the Tour de France as well as winning a stage each at the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España.

Mohorič is known for his all-around ability and his strong performances in one-day races. You might also be interested in our guide on famous Olympic cyclists

4. Jan Polanc

Jan Polanc is a retired cyclist from Slovenia. He started his career with a bang when he won the road race at the 2009 National Junior Road Championships and the time trial the following year. He later went on to win the Giro della Regione Friuli Venezia Giulia in 2013 and two Giro d’Italia stage wins. He retired in 2023 after being diagnosed with heart problems. 

5. Tadej Valjavec

Tadej Valjavec
He won the road race at the National Road Championships

Tadej Valjavec is another retired Slovenian cyclist who made his country proud. He is a two-time Giro di Basilicata winner and has landed in the top ten at the Tour de France and Giro D’Italia. In 2003 and 2007, he won the road race at the National Road Championships.

6. Gorazd Štangelj

Gorazd Štangelj is a retired cyclist but is still involved in the sport as he is the sporting director for UCI World Team Bahrain Victorious. Some of his career highlights include:

  • Tour de l’Abitibi 1999 winner
  • Two-time GP Kranj winner (1994 & 1998)
  • Circuito Belvedere 1996 winner

7. Janez Brajkovič

Janez “Jani” Brajkovič is one of the most well-known cyclists in Slovenia. He came to prominence in 2004 when he won the under-23 world-time trial title. That same year, he came first in the Trofeo Banca Popolare di Vicenza. He later went on to win the Tour de Georgia in 2007, the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2010, and the Tour of Slovenia in 2012.

8. Simon Špilak

Simon Špilak is a retired Slovenian cyclist who put himself on the map. In 2004, he won the road race and time trial at the National Junior Road Championships. That same year, he came first in the GP Général Patton. 

He later went on to take the Poreč Trophy in 2006. Špilak also won the general classification in the 2015 Tour de Suisse and again in 2017.

9. Polona Batagelj

Polona Batagelj is a retired cyclist who represented Slovenia at two Olympic Games. She took part in the women’s road race at the 2012 London Olympics and again in 2016 in Rio. Batagelj famously won the Slovenian National Road Race Championships nine times in a row from 2010 to 2018.

10. Žiga Jerman

Žiga Jerman had a short but eventful professional career. The Slovenian cyclist competed from 2017 to 2022. Within that time, he won the 2018 Ghent–Wevelgem U23, a stage at the Tour de Hongrie, and came second in the Entre Brenne et Montmorillonnais. 

This article was researched with the help of OpenAI and fact-checked and edited by our human editor.