Pogačar to lead Paris 2024 team without his girlfriend, Zigart or Roglič. GETTY IMAGES

The reigning Olympic time trial champion Primoz Roglic won't be defending his title at Paris 2024 after opting out of the Slovenian national team, who will also be missing Urška Zigart, the women's national road race and time trial queen, as well as the girlfriend of clear favourite Tadej Pogačar.

The list of Slovenina cyclists featured for Paris 2024 was somewhat surprissing as the names of Roglič, reigning Olympic time trial champion and one of the best cyclists of the moment, and Zigart, the country's best cyclist and national champion in both time trials and road races, were not featured. In the case of Roglič, it was his own decision not to defend his title.

Pogačar, the current leader of the Tour de France and Zigart's boyfriend, was the first to express his dissatisfaction with the decision. "I am devastated by the fact that Urška Zigart, a two-time national champion and the best Slovenian cyclist on the World Tour, has not been selected for the Olympic Games. Speechless. However she will always look stunning in the Slovenian champion's jersey. I will always be proud of you. Don't give up," the superstar cyclist wrote on social media.

The decision excludes the country's current best cyclist, who is ahead of her team-mates in the UCI rankings. It is worth noting that Zigart has been left out despite her national and international successes this year, including notable finishes in prestigious tours such as the Tour de Suisse and her outstanding participation in the Iztulia in Spain. Slovenia have opted for Eugenia Bujak and Urška Pintar instead.

Urška Zigart in a time trial event this season. GETTY IMAGES
Urška Zigart in a time trial event this season. GETTY IMAGES

Without Roglič in the men's race, Pogačar will lead a team that includes Matej Mohorič, Luka Mezgec and Jan Tratnik. They will compete in both the road race and time trial and will try to defend Roglič's gold medal in the time trial.

The Slovenian team will be one of the favourites, as Pogačar will be a strong contender for the gold medal. His season has been brilliant, with victories in the spring classics such as Liège-Bastogne-Liège and six stage wins in the Giro d'Italia. 

Matej Mohorič, in the 2024 Strade Bianche. GETTY IMAGES
Matej Mohorič, in the 2024 Strade Bianche. GETTY IMAGES

Pogačar will be the man to beat in the road race at Paris 2024, and Slovenia will surround him with Jayco's Luka Mezgec, a strong domestique who can help control the race. Mezgec is always useful for neutralising rivals and has always supported the team leaders.

Mohorič (Bahrain) is going to be perfect to partner Pogačar. Mohorič offers race vision and a great ability to break away. He has enough experience to stay close to Pogačar. He is a stage winner in the Vuelta a España and his most important victory was in Milan-San Remo, the 'Classicissima'.

Finally, Jan Tratnik, another very dedicated rider who can help Pogačar win Olympic gold. The Visma rider won this year's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and is in top form. He will be the only one of the four to also compete in the time trial at Paris 2024. The time trial will start on the Esplanade des Invalides on 27 July. The road race will take place on 3 August and will cover 273 kilometres around Paris, finishing on the city's streets.