Primož Roglič victorious in the #FightForGreen
25th Tour of Slovenia closed with the 21.5km long time-trial that only confirmed Primož Roglič as the absolutely the strongest cyclists on this race and strong contender for the upcoming Tour de France.
After Itzulia Basque Country and Tour de Romandie Primož Roglič (LottoNL-Jumbo) also conquered Tour of Slovenia, his home race. His overall victory on this race in 2015 launched his professional career, today’s victory only confirmed that he can stand up to the best and is a contender for all big stage races out there.
Race that goes under the slogan #FightForGreen – reference to the leaders jersey and fight for sustainable environment – was a difficult challenge. Both sprinters & climbers had their opportunities on the first four stages, and all of them had to confirm their worth on today’s time-trial from Trebnje to Novo mesto. In a way the race was decided yesterday on the Alps stage when Roglič snatched more than half a minute from his closest competitors. 28-years old Slovenian however didn’t let anything to the chances and went all out and won by 27 seconds over fellow Slovenian Jan Tratnik (CCC Sprandi Polkowice), who also had a fantastic run. Roglič won his second stage on this race and his second Tour of Slovenia title! Slovenian president Borut Pahor - honorary patronage of the anniversary 25th edition of Tour of Slovenia– was in the car behind Roglič on his winning run and was among the first to congratulate him.
Primož Roglič: “For me the most important moment of the race happened yesterday. It was better to start up in the front, I rather have that than the chase. We did everything perfectly and we can deservingly celebrate the victory. Let’s take a look at all these people around us, they are following us everyday in every city we pass. It’s like a mini-Tour. I’m honored that I could race here and bring joy to all these people. I always try to get maximum out of my body and the race was also perfect preparation for the Tour.”
Second overall was Colombian Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale) with the gap of almost two minutes, Slovenian Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Merida) was third. Matej got his spot on the podium today after a very solid run on the time-trial and also thanks to time beneficiation from the yesterday’s sprint.
Rigoberto Uran: “I am so happy, second place is great. It’s really good for my team and for me. It's a good result before the Tour. The race is really nice, the climbs are good, people are friendly. It's my first time here. I will be back for sure… Maybe also for holidays. Primož Roglič is really strong and congratulations to him.”
Matej Mohorič: “I was aiming for the stage victories in the third and fourth stage and rode very aggressively, that is why I had pretty heavy legs in the morning. But I managed to do a great time-trial and we can all be satisfied. I was completely focused on my ride and just tried to get to Novo mesto as fast as possible. Atmosphere was great, and on the end it was even enough for the third place overall. Big thanks to all the fans that came to support us on the roads and to all that supported us from behind the screens. Competition was really strong, much stronger than usually on the first category race and I think that Tour of Slovenia will continue to develop and will be only better in the future.”
Battle for fourth and fifth was also a battle for the white jersey. Only 19-years old Slovenian Tadej Pogačar (Ljubljana Gusto Xaurum) was today faster in that contest and took the jersey away from Australian Michael Storer (Team Sunweb). On the end there were just two seconds between them. Jani Brajkovič (Adria Mobil Cycling) was 8th and only confirmed great performance of Slovenian riders on the home race. This is what Tadej had to say after his success: “I was a little bit pessimistic yesterday, but I found the motivation and woke up with optimism. We came here for the white jersey and we got it, so I’m happy now, and so is the team.”
Race director Bogdan Fink was also satisfied with the race: “We witnessed five amazing days of fascinating racing. Cyclists on the race gave us a great show and we could enjoy from start to the end. Great thanks to all the fans that came on the tour and gave support to all competitors on the race. They made the spectacle out of the race. I also want to thank all the regions, host cities and the sponsors that support us. And of course everybody who helped us with the organization – there are around 1800 people working hard to make this race possible!”
Tour of Slovenia is finished, all eyes are now on Tour de France. If we can judge by the today’s result that race will also have a Slovenian mark.
Photos by Sportida Photo Agency