Star line-up for Tour of Slovenia
25th edition of Tour of Slovenia will kick-off tomorrow in Lendava, Slovenia, with a line-up of some of the best cyclist in the world, including Uran, Cavendish, Kittel, Roglič, Majka and others.
Favorites for the stage victories and green jersey shared their thoughts on today’s press conference.
25th Tour of Slovenia is a race of surpluses. Race will have five stages – including time-trial – and live broadcast on Eurosport and Slovenian national television. Fans by the roads and behind the TV screens are in for a treat – there are 9 World Tour on the race, plus a number of strong pro-continental and continental teams. Tour will start with a flat stage in Pomurje, a perfect stage for sprinters, but the race will get harder very quickly – especially with third and fourth stage that will take the peloton to the mountains. Last day is reserved for 21,5 kilometers long time-trial from Trebnje to Novo mesto.
Five favorites for the stage and overall victories revealed their plans today on the press conference in Moravske Toplice and this is what they had to say:
Rafał Majka (BORA hansgrohe), winner of 2017 Tour of Slovenia:
“I expect a good race, just like last year. We came to Slovenia from a training camp in Sierra Nevada, for us this race is part of the preparations for Tour de France. We have a strong team here, so do others, which is good for a race. I think it’s a good thing that organizers added additional day, this means one more day of racing and one day less of training.
We already went for a ride today and the roads are beautiful. I want to do good on the race, it doesn’t matter if I win the race or not. I want to have a good training and do something special Davide Formolo. It will be harder to win this year, Roglič is a favorite and we also have a time-trial on the end.”
Marcel Kittel (Team Katusha Alpecin)
“I don’t know how many victories I can take on Tour of Slovenia. First stage is made for sprinters for sure, I’m not sure about second one, we’ll see. We’re out on bikes for an hour. It’s beautiful, lots of small villages and nature, it reminds me on my home in Germany. I look forward to the race, it’s my first time here for the race, I was here with my parents when I was younger.
Every pure sprinter is looking at what he will do during the season. Dauphiné and Tour de Suisse are both very hard, for us it’s great that we can come here and have a good race.”
Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data)
“My third time back in Slovenia, last year it was my only race ahead of Tour and for me it was a great race. This year the field is even stronger than last year. Line-up for the sprints is great, which is perfect for this part of the year. We’ll have two opportunities and I’ll aim for a green jersey. After that the GC contenders will have their race and we’ll enjoy the countryside. Slovenia is a beautiful country, I’m happy to be back. Also I love the food here.”
Rigoberto Uran (Team EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale)
“This is my first tour in Slovenia, and for me good preparations for the Tour. I had to choose among the races and I rather came here than Dauphiné. My first goal is to have good preparations for Tour de France, it will be difficult to win with Primož Roglič on the start. Race has five stages, which is enough for me.”
Primož Roglič (Team LottoNL-Jumbo), winner of 2015 Tour of Slovenia
“It’s nice to race on home roads, in front of home fans. Usually they only see me on screens, now they can see me live out there on the roads. It’s crazy to think that the race will pass my hometown, and I expect a lot of friends and neighbors there to support me.
Many consider me as a favorite, but we will all start at zero, I don’t have any advantage. After that we’ll all battle till the last stage. Everyone at the starting line has the same chance, we can for sure expect a great fight and the best man will win.
This is my last race ahead of Tour de France, my last chance to see if I need to improve something.”
Tour of Slovenia will have a daily broadcast on Eurosport, as well a life feed updates on www.tourofslovenia.si.
2018 Tour of Slovenia, 13th – 17th June 2018
Stage 1: Lendava – Murska Sobota (with short visit to Hungary), 159 km
Stage 2: Maribor – Rogaška Slatina, 152,7 km
Stage 3: Slovenske Konjice – Celje, 175,7 km
Stage 4: Ljubljana – Kamnik (with short visit to Austria), 155,2 km
Stage 5: (ITT) Trebnje – Novo mesto, 21,5 km
PR Tour of Slovenia
Photos: Vid Ponikvar / Sportida