Mohorič gets a well-deserved stage victory, Zana wins fight for green
29th Tour of Slovenia was excited all the way to the very last meters, with fight for green reaching its climax on the climb to Trška gora and descent back to Novo mesto. Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious) won his first stage on this race, while Filippo Zana (Team Jayco AlUla) confirmed the overall victory. Luka Mezgec added to the Slovenian success with 3rd place on the stage.
Fourth stage with the climb to Kolovrat has shaken up things at the very top, but nobody expected that it will made the race wide open. Filippo Zana only had a second ahead of Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) on the start of the today’s fifth stage in Vrhnika. We all knew that Ulissi will not surrender easily, other were also not too far behind. The center point of all teams thus became 1.7 kilometers long climb to Trška gora, 10 kilometers before the finish line in Novo mesto. WorldTour teams were pulling high pace, Matej was quick to take a lead and stretched out the group. Ulissi followed, but not for long. Zana however managed to keep up with Matej’s brutal pace and the duo crossed the top together. As expected, Matej attacked on the descent, but later waited for Zana and sealed the stage victory with a sprint in Novo mesto. Matej was often close to the victory on the home race, this one was well deserved.
Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious) after the stage victory: “The climb to Trška gora really suits me, I'm really good at this kind of efforts. We’re committed to the plan, we rode as one, we rode for Gino. I didn't care about the result, I just wanted to leave it all out on the road. I was focused on my own performance, and I just wanted to do my best effort on the last climb. On the top I saw it was just me and Filippo, I tried to took advantage of the decent, but it was not quite long enough to make a difference. So I waited for him, I thought that he's not suited for this kind of finishes, he's going to be on his hands and knees for the last six kilometers. I did a big push, but I also recovered in the meantime, and I was focused on the stage. On the end I managed to win, of course I dedicate the victory to my friend Gino, I think he would be happy for us today.”
Filippo Zana also dedicated his victory to the Swiss rider: “Because of the yesterday crash, I did go a little bit easier today. I want to thank Matej for waiting at the bottom of the downhill section. We went to finish the stage together and he won the stage, I won the race. Perfect! Big thanks to my teammates that worked all day long. This victory is for Gino.”
Zana won the fight for green, with 18 seconds lead ahead of Mohorič, Ulissi is third with a gap of 23 seconds.
Luka Mezgec didn’t won the stage, but got some satisfaction with the sprint victory for 3rd place on the today’s stage. He can take a lot of credit for the success of Team Jayco AlUla on the race, which is also worth a lot.
Replica of the 5200 years old wheel found in Ljubljana marshes goes to Italy once again, Filippo Gana was one of the favorites and has shown how strong his legs are. On the top of points classifications is Ide Schelling (BORA – hansgrohe), winner of the 3rd stage. Best climber on the race is Samuele Zoccarato (Green Project – Bardiani CSF – Faizanè), one of the heroes from the queen mountain stage. Best young cyclist on the race is Raul Garcia Pierna, his team Equipo Kern Pharma also won team rankings.
29th Tour of Slovenia finished with the spectacular stage action, well deserved winners, a special appearance by Primož Roglič and Mojca Novak’s farewell from the position of the President of the organizing committee. Tomorrow the countdown to 30th edition begins!