Insiders on stage 5: Trška gora will be decisive
Stage 5: Vrhnika – Novo mesto, 142.6 km. The shortest stage in this year's race will be anything but a Sunday walk. The race will be demanding until the very end, with the stage (and unlikely the race) deciding on the very last climb.
Bogdan Fink, organizing director: "From the Ivan Cankar’s town to Dolenjska, with the first part changed compared to last year. First we turn to Ulovka/Zaplana, followed by the flat part across Barje and three flying sprints in Škofljica, Višnja Gora and Trebnje... and the first arrival at the Main Square in Novo mesto. The race will end, just like last year, with a lap over Trška gora and the finish at the main square."
Luka Mezgec, Team Jayco-AlUla: "I definitely would have liked to be more in the forefront last year, but it didn't work out. The stage is a bit different, the ascent to Zaplana will be important, as a breakaway group can form there. At this stage, it will also be important who is in charge and what the difference will be. If the leader has no interest in winning the stage, I will not be surprised by the success of the breakaway either. The legs will decide on Trška gora, followed by a dizzying descent into the valley, where there is still possible to do some catching up."
Domen Novak, UAE Team Emirates: "A slightly more difficult stage than last year, but everything will depend on the quality of the break and the teams' initiatives after chasing. If the group comes under Trška gora, Luka is once again one of the favorites. Tadej is also a favorite."
Note: the participants gave their opinions at the April press conference and do not confirm Tadej Pogačar's performance. Of course, we all want that.