The Tour of Slovenia came to a close with Alexander Porsev (Katusha) winning the final stage from a bunch gallop. Rudiger Selig (Bora-Argon 18) finished 2nd and our Italian sprinter, Kristian Sbaragli crossed the line in Novo Mesto in 3rd place.
Starting under grey skies in Rogaska Slatina, the peloton began the final 179km stage to Novo Mesto with a bunch sprint in the back of every team’s mind. 5 riders tried their luck with an early breakaway attempt and they were able to gain a 4-minute lead at one stage but Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka and Team Katusha were focused on bringing things back together during the four final local laps.
For the final 25km of the stage it was all Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka at the front of the peloton, with our African Team clawing back the escapees with every passing kilometer. With just 2 laps of 5km each remaining, Danielle Colli (Nippo-Vini Fantini) was the sole surviving breakaway rider but our African Team was just 10 seconds adrift.
On the penultimate lap Colli was caught and our Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka boys led the sprint out for the final 6km, with Sbaragli our go to man for the final kick. Porsev was able to benefit from our team’s strong final drive to the line and came from behind Sbaragli to take the win on the wet pave road in Novo Mesto. Selig snuck in for 2nd as Sbaragli lunged for the line to secure the final podium placing.
Kristian Sbaragli – Rider
It was a hard final day in the rain today. The last few corners were quite technical and difficult so we led the bunch from far out. The guys did such a great job, everyone contributed very well and obviously the goal was to win today but I finished 3rd in the final. It was good to be there in the end, fighting for the victory.
Alex Sans Vega – Sport Director
It was the final stage of the Tour of Slovenia today and the weather was not as nice as the other days. There wasn’t much to the stage today, just wait for the final on the local laps. There was a big crash in the final lap but fortunately none of our riders were involved. The plan was to prepare the sprint for Kristian and lead him out. So we took the day easy and just waited for the final local laps and the team did really, really well on the circuit. In the final Kristian was sprinting but two guys were just stronger and beat him to the line. So it was 3rd today and 3rd yesterday, not a bad way to end the race here in Slovenia.