Atop the Puy de Dôme, there were few people that weren’t either wearing a photographer bib, an ASO polo shirt, or team-issue staff member shorts and t-shirts. Those that weren’t were mostly members of the media – recognisable colleagues. Except for a middle-aged man, woman and a younger woman who was clearly their daughter.
After a quick fly-by to sneak a peek at the names on their lanyards, it became clear that this was the family of Tadej Pogačar. Once the stage had ended, and while her son was busy doing his own interviews. I cautiously approached Pogačar’s mum, a French teacher, assuming she maybe also spoke a bit of English. I introduced myself and asked for an interview.
“Just one minute?”
“One minute,” she replied.
Luckily, she wasn’t clock-watching, and we managed to run the time up to two minutes.
Interviewing family members is a tricky one sometimes. There is a level of privacy and respect they should be afforded. They are not part of the big game. However, there is some insight to be gleaned from the mother of one of the best bike racers in the world.
How’s your day going so far? Not many people are up here on the Puy de Dôme!
It was quite difficult to get this accreditation today and to get to the funicular at 2pm – we are very happy we could come here. It’s a great moment.
How long is your visit to the Tour?
We started to watch the Tour on the Col de Marie Blanque, that was our first stage because before we were at the Giro Donne supporting Urška [Zigart, fellow pro racer and Pogačar’s partner] for two days.
You were watching the stage on the big screen and you seemed very calm, are you always calm when you watch Tadej race?
I’m a little bit nervous so I can’t be quiet, I have to move. But not today, today was more quiet.
Is it nice to see how popular Tadej has become? He posts funny videos online, people seem to understand him more now.
I’m very happy that he’s joking all the time, so I can see he enjoys cycling and all the things around the cycling too. Because if he doesn’t enjoy it he couldn’t do it.
Has Tadej always been the same Tadej, or has he changed since before all of this?
He’s more mature. He’s not a kid anymore.
Tadej Pogačar returns from his interview and white jersey podium duties. Another hug and brief chat with the family before he is handed his helmet and bike. The total time he has been able to spend with his family can’t total more than a couple of minutes. Then Tadej is gone, back down the mountain he just came up. A Tour currently separated by seconds, interspersed with fleeting moments of family time.
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