This past weekend, real-world professional road cycling returned, in the form of the Slovenian national road racing championships. After months of virtual events, some of the world’s best riders lined up to race — outside, on the road, and in front of fans. Primoz Roglic, a favorite for the 2020 Tour de France, rode away from the rising star and countryman Tadej Pogacar to win in thrilling fashion on the race’s summit finish. However, unlike the professional European soccer leagues, this return to live racing wasn’t marked by any highly publicized and triumphant kickoff. In fact, it was run with no television coverage at all outside of Slovenia, and it took a backseat in the English-language cycling media to the latest Everesting attempts and team sponsorship rumors. Indeed, numerous virtual racing events held during the lockdown over the past few months have been given far more attention.
By Spencer Martin and Steve Maxwell, June 25th, 2020.