With a team built around the bunch sprints, it was no surprise that Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka saved its energy on Saturday’s mountain top finish to Rogla. Instead, the riders are now looking forward to the final stage of the race, which seems to be another chance for the sprinters.
Just like in the previous days, a break managed to get away early on today’s stage. Six riders quickly established a big gap on the peloton. However, as the pack approached the final climb of the day, the gap quickly decreased and just as the riders took on the ascent, it was all back together again. BORA – hansgrohe made sure the pace was high at all time, setting up their pre-race favorite Rafal Majka to attack. The Pole didn’t wait around very long and with 10 km to go, he attacked and only two other riders were able to follow.
The three riders at the front took turns attacking each other but none of them was able to distance the others. Therefore, it all came down to a sprint between the trio on the final few hundred meters. Majka turned to be the strongest as he outsprinted Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain-Merida) and Jack Haig (Orica-Scott) to take the stage win and the leader’s jersey.
The Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka riders did a good job saving as much energy as possible on the slopes towards the top in order to be ready for tomorrow’s final stage of Tour de Slovénie. The 160 km from Rogaska Slatina to Novo Mesto are expected to end in a bunch sprint and here, the team hopes to play an important role with its many strong sprinters.
Alex Sans Vega – Sports director:
”Today became somewhat of a transition stage since we lost our climber, Jacques Janse van Rensburg in the crash on stage 1. Kristian [Sbaragli] stayed with the best riders as long as he could but this was always going to be a day for the likes of Majka and such. The good thing is that even though this was a tough stage, both Cavendish and Renshaw got through the day all right. Now, we can prepare for the last sprint opportunity tomorrow”.