Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) won the stage 3 climbers time trial at the Tour of Slovenia. Race leader Rein Taaramae (Katusha) finished 4 seconds off the pace to take 2nd and our Omar Fraile took the final podium placing of the stage.
It was an interesting 16.8km time trial with the first 10km being mostly flat before a testing 6.8km climb that had an average gradient of 6.4%. With some ramps on the climb going up to 16%, teams had to decide on whether riders should start on a time trial bike, road bike or make the switch just before the climb began.
The Giro d’Italia mountain time trial stage winner Alexander Foliforov (Gazprom) was one of the earlier starters and he set a fast time of 29’33” to take the lead for quite some time. It was only when eventual stage winner Ulissi came home, was there a change at the top of the leaderboard.
The next change then happened when Omar Fraile came flying up the mountain, moving into 2nd place behind Ulissi and just before all the main GC contenders got underway. Today’s time trial was always a target for our Basque Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka rider and it was great to see Fraile putting in such a strong performance after cramping badly during yesterday’s stage. The only other rider to make any difference at the top of the leaderboard was the yellow jersey, Taaramae, who placed himself between Ulissi and Fraile to finalise the stage podium.
Omar Fraile – Rider
I am very happy after the day that I had yesterday. I knew I was in good shape but I just had a bad day yesterday. Today I wanted to do well and we had a plan. I changed my bike after the first 10km and then I found I was able to climb really well to the finish. In the end I finished in 3rd position, I am happy with this result and it gives me some good motivation.