Tadej Pogačar is back in the rap game

We interrupt your regular Tour de France programming to bring you some very important news: reigning Tour champ Tadej Pogačar is back with a brand new rap.

The 23-year-old is best known for winning big bike races in bulk – Grand Tours, week-long stage races, one-day Monuments, seemingly whatever he feels like – but there’s more to the young Slovenian than his ability to demoralise his rivals on a bike.

Pogačar has a cameo on a new track from popular Dutch YouTuber turned pro cyclist Bas Tietema, called ‘Wielerhart’ (‘Cycling Heart’ in English). Co-written by Tietema in collaboration with Dutch musicians Donda Nisha and Leo Alkemade, ‘Wielerhart’ is a simple ode to the joy of riding bikes.

As you can see at the top of the page, the ‘Wielerhart’ music video tells the story of a young kid getting his first road bike, going riding with his dad, then growing up to become a keen cyclist.

The song itself is perfectly inoffensive. It’s a simple, uptempo pop tune featuring a catchy chorus that will definitely be playing on repeat in my head for the next few hours.

But that’s not why we’re here – we’re here to talk about Pogačar’s contribution.

First up, if you were hoping for a lengthy verse, you’re likely to be disappointed – Pogačar’s feature spans just eight lines:

It’s Pogi all in,
Giving everything,
May the best win.
It’s all about the ride,
But it’s entertaining.
On the pedals dancing,
Now they’re screaming from the side,
To hear Pogačar sing.

I think we can agree that ‘Pogi’ isn’t going to win a Grammy for this performance, but his cameo is certainly entertaining. I, for one, was left wanting more when the triplicate Pogačars disappeared from screen after just 14 seconds spent walking down stairs and bobbing up and down on a tree stump.

As you might recall, Pogačar isn’t the only pro cyclist who’s tried his hand at rapping. The Astana team turned heads in 2019 with what it claimed was the “first ever pro cycling rap”, a track that landed somewhere between “utterly horrendous” and “so bad it’s actually good”:

The Kazakh team was back at it in early 2022 with the following effort described by critics as “really not very good”.

But let’s get back to Pogačar. It turns out his appearance on ‘Wielerhart’ isn’t actually his public rap debut. That honor seems to belong to a 38-second track written about the COVID pandemic and posted to the Team UAE Emirates socials in September 2020:

Clearly Pogačar is a better bike racer than he is a rapper, but that’s not saying a whole lot – he’s a once-in-a-generation racer who’s on track to go down as one of the all-time greats. And to be honest, whether he’s rapping well or not is really beside the point. In fact, Pogačar should be commended for putting himself out there like this.

As a general rule, pro cycling tends to take itself pretty seriously. It’s an often-severe and humourless sport where fun or engaging personalities stand out for their rarity. That’s doubly true when it comes to Tour de France contenders; riders who are forced to ply their trade under intense scrutiny on the sport’s biggest stage.

In that context, Pogačar is a breath of fresh air. It’s clear he doesn’t take himself too seriously and he’s willing to have a bit of fun. Or, as his partner Urška Žigart put it to CyclingTips in a great interview the couple did last year: “With me he is a very funny and outgoing guy and I would like others to get to know him that way too.”

So, chapeau, Tadej Pogačar, for having a bit of fun with ‘Wielerhart’ and likewise to Tour de Tietema for making it happen. More of this please.

And now, let’s take you back to your regular programming: the Very Serious and Important Business that is the Tour de France.

Full translated lyrics for ‘Wielerhart’

Verse 1

I miss the asphalt, the sound
I miss the cracking of the frame
I miss the fresh wind from outside
And everything around it

Prechorus

My hands black from chain grease
I don’t fit my cycling shirt anymore
The first time always hurts
But fuck it, I got it, I go

Chorus

No mountain too high
No race too long
Am dehydrated
Enjoy it

My best friend
From the beginning
Blood that flows
In my cycling heart

Verse 2

I dream my own Tour de France
Through the flat boulder land
Singing to my stair cadence
I put everything aside

Paris is far, luckily
I can go on like this for hours
In the distance is my
Champs E-ly-sees

Prechorus

My hands black from chain grease
I don’t fit my cycling shirt anymore
The first time always hurts
But fuck it, I got it, I go

Chorus

No mountain too high
No race too long
Am dehydrated
Enjoy it

My best friend
From the beginning
Blood that flows
In my cycling heart

Pogačar’s verse:

It’s Pogi all in
Giving everything
May the best win

It’s all about the ride
But it’s entertaining
On the pedals dancing
Now they’re screaming from the side
To hear Pogacar sing

Chorus

No mountain too high
No race too long
Am dehydrated
Enjoy it

My best friend
From the beginning
Blood that flows
In my cycling heart

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