Dylan Groenewegen (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) won a sprint finish in Rogaška Slatina, just like back in the 2018. Best Slovenian on the race was Matevž Govekar, fresh on the Bahrain-Victorious team.
Excitement racing continues on the 28th edition of Tour of Slovenia. Stage from Ptuj to Rogaška Slatina was played by a rulebook, with small breakaway in the first half and sprint finish on the end. Peloton was broken in two parts toward the end, smaller leading group included all top sprinters on the race, with exception of Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) who was dropped on the last climbs.
With one kilometer to go, the race was still wide open. Matej Mohorič did a strong move and made a lead for his new teammate Matevž Govekar (both Bahrain-Victorious), then Luka Mezgec started charging for Dylan Groenewegen (oba BikeExchange-Jayco). But their train fell apart and the stage was again for grabs. Suddenly Groenewegen came out of nowhere and took a solid win. He already won in Rogaška Slatina in 2018.
Dylan Groenewegen: “I survived the climbs in the last part of the stage thanks to my teammates. We timed the finish perfectly, but in the last corner Bahrain boxed me in and I couldn’t follow Luka in that corner. We had to wait and pull again. We started on the left and right, it was not perfect, but Luka made a really smart move and made some space for me to follow other riders.
It’s a good thing from the organization that we did one lap before, so we saw the finish. It’s really nice when you know what is coming.
It was a hard stage, but thanks to my teammates we won and I’m really happy for this victory.”
Luka Mezgec needs to get lots of credits for the success of his team: “It was pretty chaotic, despite the small group. It wasn’t ideal, I thought that we’ll manage this nicer. We lost Dylan in the roundabout, about 800 m before the finish line. It was hard to control the speed with Dylan being couple of places behind me. We had to back up a little and other came around us. I was blocked a little bit as well, but Dylan somehow found a clearance and proved that he’s the fastest. We got what we came for today.”
Matevž Govekar was 9th, best Slovenian on the race today.
Rafal Majka (UAE Team Emirates) crossed the line in the time of the winner and kept the green jersey.
Third stage will be surly very interesting, with start in Žalec and finish on the short, but steep climb to Old castle Celje.