Tour of Slovenia #4: Queen stage shakes the GC

Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) won the queen stage of the Tour of Slovenia, soloing to victory ahead of a small chase group. Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida) placed 2nd on the stage and Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) finished 3rd.

The 4th stage of the Tour Slovenia got off to a quick start despite the 3 large climbs that awaited in the 2nd half of the 155km stage. The race was on for the 3 early intermediate sprints, once those were snapped up, 14 riders got away just ahead of the first main climb. Johann van Zyl was in the move for our African Team.

The first climb softened the pack but it was the 2nd climb, a cat 1 climb that measured 5km at a 10% gradient that made a bigger impact. All but 1 rider from the break was caught by the main group on the climb, and over the top there were only 25-odd riders in the main group. Our African Team had our protected rider for the day, Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier in the group.

On the descent Van Zyl was able to make it back into the leaders group and could assist Ghebreigzabhier in the run-in to the final climb of the day. The climb was also 5km in length but at a gradient of 8%, which LottoNL-Jumbo attacked with venom. As Roglic caught the breakaway riders, and went into lead, Ghebreigzabhier tried to follow his pace on the early part of the climb. 2km from the top though, our Eritrean neo pro cracked.

Roglic went solo over the top of the climb and would not be seen again, time trialing the last 20km on his own to take the stage and overall race lead. Ghebreigzabhier lost time quickly after his big effort to stay with the race leader and only recovered in time to slot into the 2nd chase group. In the end, he crossed the line 20th on the stage and now 12th on GC, a good learning curve day for our neo-pro.