Tour of Slovenia Kicks Off

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Experts think that at least three Slovenian cyclists will vie for the yellow jersey, namely Tadej Valjavec (Sava), Tomaž Nose (Adria Mobil), winner of the tour in 2007, and Jan Polanc (Radenska).

But the top favourite will be German Patrick Sinkewitz, who competes for the Croatian team Merdiana Kamen and used to be among the top cyclists in the world before his career was derailed by a doping scandal.

"I believe Sinkewitz is currently the best prepared cyclist…I see no others who would be as good in the uphill stretches," Valjavec told reporters ahead of the race.

*Tour of Slovenia stages, 13-16 June:

– Prologue: Ljubljana, time trial (8.8 km)
– 1st stage: Kočevje – Višnja gora (168.5 km)
– 2nd stage: Škofja Loka – Vršič (170 km)
– 3rd stage: Brežice – Novo mesto (155.8 km)

Winners of the Tour of Slovenia:

1993 Boris Premužič (Slovenia)
1994 Tobias Steinhauser (Germany)
1995 Valter Bonča (Slovenia)
1996 Lorenzo di Silverstro (Italy)
1998 Branko Filip (Slovenia)
1999 Tim Jones (Zimbabwe)
2000 Martin Derganc (Slovenia)
2001 Faat Zakirov (Russia)
2002 Jevgenij Petrov (Russia)
2003 Mitja Mahorič (Slovenia)
2004 Mitja Mahorič (Slovenia)
2005 Przemyslav Niemiec (Poland)
2006 Jure Golčer (Slovenia)
2007 Tomaž Nose (Slovenia)
2008 Jure Golčer (Slovenia)
2009 Jakob Fuglsang (Denmark)
2010 Vincenzo Nibali (Italy)
2011 Diego Ulissi (Italy)
2012 Jani Brajkovič (Slovenia)