Tour of Slovenia #2: Mark Cavendish in sprint finale mix

Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) won the 2nd stage of the Tour of Slovenia, sprinting to the win in Rogaska Slatina ahead of Matteo Pelucchi (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott).

It was another day for the sprinters at the Tour of Slovenia as stage 2 consisted of 152km with only 1 category 3 climb along the way. The race leader’s team, UAE-Emirates controlled an early break of 3 riders before Mitchelton-Scott, LottoNL-Jumbo and Bahrain-Merida added riders to the chase.

Our African Team rallied around Mark Cavendish for the finale, as he continues his build up to the Tour de France. With 14km to go, just before the break was caught and the race made the first passage through the finish-line, Cavendish suffered a front wheel puncture. A quick wheel change allowed our sprint ace to tag back onto the peloton just inside of 10km to go.

Johann van Zyl, Jaco Venter and Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier were all on-hand to move up with the Manxman, as they made their way back to the head of the peloton. Mitchelton-Scott had assumed control of the leadout and Mark Renshaw was able to navigate himself and Cavendish onto their train.

Both Ewan and Cavendish found themselves having to jump earlier than they might have wanted to, with the line also somewhat tricky to sight. Groenewegen was able to come from behind, taking the win. Cavendish rolled the last 30m to the line, taking 6th place on the stage.

Roger Hammond – Sport Director
A late puncture for Mark in the final 15km was not ideal but he was able to get back with enough time to spare and still get into a good position for the sprint finale.  As they were in the convoy coming through the circuit finish they missed the vital chance to see how the finish was, in the end they started the sprint a little early. It was good to see how the team rallied round and overcame the adversity of the late puncture to give Mark the opportunity to get involved.