Rafal Majka, Tadej Pogacar play rock, paper, scissors at Tour of Slovenia


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As they neared the end of the fourth stage of the Tour of Slovenia on Saturday, teammates Rafal Majka and Tadej Pogacar cycled aspect by aspect and shook fingers. Holding a big lead and realizing a winner wanted to be determined, Pogacar prolonged his proper arm to Majka and balled his fist.

Majka did the identical, they usually flexed their arms twice earlier than revealing their picks in a recreation of rock, paper, scissors. Pogacar displayed a rock together with his hand; Majka chosen paper.

That determined the race’s end result. Pogacar allowed Majka to trip barely forward and win the 94.8-mile Stage 4 trip, and the UAE Group Emirates teammates crossed the end line with grins and their arms round one another.

“I’m very proud of this victory,” Majka mentioned afterward. “I need to thank Tadej and the entire workforce. We obtained by means of the final climb effectively figuring out that Tadej might do higher than everybody right here, however he nonetheless left me the stage win.”

Majka, a 32-year-old from Poland, received the trip from Lasko to Velika Planina in 3 hours 53 minutes 52 seconds. Pogacar, a 23-year-old Slovenian, completed milliseconds behind. The following finisher, Spain’s Fernando Barceló, got here in 22 seconds later.

Majka and Pogacar have raced collectively on UAE Group Emirates for the previous two seasons. Pogacar, the present world No. 1, gave the highlight Saturday to Majka, whose lone Grand Tour podium end got here when he positioned third on the 2015 Vuelta a España.

Majka mentioned Pogacar needed him to win getting into the day.

“He mentioned, ‘Okay, you go for the stage,’ ” Majka advised CyclingTips. “We did a small bit, however he nonetheless tells me, ‘You’ll be able to win right this moment.’ ”

Majka posted a photograph with Pogacar on social media Saturday with the caption “Boys, [they just] wanna have enjoyable!”

By triumphing within the race’s fifth and closing stage Sunday, Pogacar was the Tour of Slovenia’s general winner for the second consecutive 12 months. One in all biking’s youngest stars, he received the previous two editions of the Tour de France and will probably be a high contender to win his third consecutive title throughout the sport’s largest occasion subsequent month.

“Within the dash,” Pogacar mentioned, “I did my finest to repay the entire workforce with success for the nice work completed throughout the entire week.”

Saturday wasn’t the primary time rock, paper, scissors has been used because the deciding think about sports activities.

In February, Lille soccer gamers Jonathan Bamba and Xeka used the sport to determine who would take a free kick in a French league recreation. In October, a pair of Illinois highschool soccer groups performed a best-of-three rock, paper, scissors recreation to switch the pregame coin toss.

That additionally occurred in 2018, when a referee in a Girls’s Tremendous League match between Manchester Metropolis and Studying forgot his coin and had gamers use rock, paper, scissors to find out area place. In 2016, the lads’s membership lacrosse groups at Dayton and Western Michigan determined the winner with rock, paper, scissors after lightning scrapped their recreation.

On Sunday, Pogacar and Majka, who completed second within the Tour of Slovenia, spent extra time aspect by aspect. They stood subsequent to one another on the winners’ podium earlier than tossing their arms round one another to pose for photographs.

“It was an incredible week, superb race,” Pogacar advised VeloNews. “And, yeah, good teamwork.”


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