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Slovenians cheer Tadej Pogacar to Tour de France glory

VIDEO SHOWS: FANS, MANY OF THEM SLOVENIAN, LINING PARIS' CHAMPS ELYSEES TO WATCH TOUR DE FRANCE WINNER TADEJ POGACAR AND OTHER CYCLISTS AS THEY GO BY, SOUNDBITES FROM SLOVENIAN AND FRENCH FANS

RESENDING WITH COMPLETE SCRIPT

SHOWS:

PARIS, FRANCE (SEPTEMBER 20, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

1. SLOVENIAN CYCLING FANS WAVING FLAGS, CELEBRATING AND CHANTING ON CHAMPS ELYSEES AS THEY WAIT FOR CYCLISTS TO ARRIVE

2. FRENCH FIGHTER JETS FLYING OVER CHAMPS ELYSEES WITH BLUE, WHITE AND RED SMOKE

3. VARIOUS OF MOSTLY EMPTY PAVEMENT OF CHAMPS ELYSEES

4. SLOVENIAN CYCLING FANS, SKI COACH, FLORIAN JAGODIC, AND BUSINESS MANAGER, DEHAN SILAR, CELEBRATING ON CHAMPS ELYSEES

5. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SLOVENIAN CYCLING FAN AND BUSINESS MANAGER, DEHAN SILAR, SAYING:

"I mean, I like Tadej Pogacar, he's young, he's a newcomer, you know. He's a great athlete, but I know what Roglic went through and we were kind of expecting him to win this Tour de France but then Pogacar came and he was really amazing. We are really happy for him but at really, at the same time, we are kind of sad for Roglic. There are mixed emotions but still we are proud of being Slovenian and that two Slovenians are now on the podium."

6. JAGODIC AND SILAR TALKING

7. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SLOVENIAN CYCLING FAN, SKI COACH, FLORIAN JAGODIC SAYING:

"It was tough. We are happy for both. We definitely think that Pogacar deserved this. This is probably the beginning of Slovenian heroes coming to Paris."

8. SPARSE CROWDS GATHERED

9. FANS BEHIND SLOVENIAN FLAG

10. VARIOUS OF SLOVENIAN FANS

11. (SOUNDBITE) (English) 19-YEAR-OLD CYCLING FAN, JAKA KORDIC, SAYING:

"I think it's a great atmosphere. I think most of the people here are Slovenians. So, yeah, it feels great. You see there's not many people but most of them are Slovenians and we make a great atmosphere."

12. SPECTATORS

13. (SOUNDBITE) (French) PARISIAN CYCLING FAN, JEAN, SAYING:

"It's a bit of a shame for the cyclists that there are fewer people but it means we can see better."

14. SLOVENIAN FANS

15. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH CYCLING FAN, MEDDY, SAYING:

"If we set aside our French national pride, I think it was really one of the best Tour de Frances of the last 20 years, with great stages, surprises like we saw yesterday."

16. CHAMPS ELYSEES

STORY: Excited Slovenians cheered their compatriot Tadej Pogacar, at 21 the youngest Tour de France winner in more than a century, up the Champs Elysees on Sunday (September 20) for the competition's final stage.

The crowds lining the Parisian avenue were sparse in comparison to previous years as COVID-19 restrictions kept access limited to 5,000 people.

While fans acknowledged there was less energy than in previous years, some pointed out they had a much better view of the riders.

Many of the fans, including business manager Dehan Silar, had flown in for the day to see Pogacar and fellow Slovenian Primoz Roglic, who lost the yellow jersey in a major upset on the dramatic penultimate day of the competition.

"We are really happy for him but at the same time we are kind of sad for Roglic. There are mixed emotions but still we are proud of being Slovenian and that two Slovenians are now on the podium," he said.

(Production: Thierry Chiarello and Johnny Cotton)