Insiders on S1: not a typical stage for sprinters
Stage 1: Celje – Rogaška Slatina, 188.6 km. Luka Mezgec, Domen Novak and Bogdan Fink shared their opinions and thoughts on this year's stages, we’ll post key conclusions and predictions in five posts. Let’s start with the day 1.
Bogdan Fink, organizing director: "The start in Celje and the first, technically challenging, a lap through Vojnik. In my humble opinion, the entire stage is technically demanding, with a lot of smaller climbs and a total of almost 2,000 altitude meters. Slovenske Konjice is with us again after a few years, this time also with the mountain finish at Žiče Charterhouse (512 m above sea level). We visit the finish straight in Rogaška Slatina twice, before the decisive finish we will have another lap around the city. The finish is similar to that of 2019, when Pascal Ackermann won, when the winner was decided by a smaller group. Same outcome is expected also this year, after 188 km we do not expect the entire group to arrive at the same time."
Luka Mezgec, Team Jayco-AlUla: "The stage is really diverse, it will certainly not be a typical sprint stage. 2,000 meters in altitude on almost 200 km of route is quite a mouthful. I expect narrow roads and having to ride at the front, so the group will definitely be thinned out, but I expect about the same final outcome as last year. I myself have fond memories of Celje, our main sprinter Dylan Groenewegen has fond memories of Rogaška Slatina, so the stage must suit us and we will certainly aim high."
Domen Novak, UAE Team Emirates: "The stage will be a big challenge for the whole group. We will certainly have a sprint in the end, the only question is how big the leading group will be."
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