Stage 1 of the 26th instance of the Tour of Slovenia is over. The start of the 171 km long stage was in Ljubljana and the finish in Rogaška Slatina. It all began at Kongresni trg with team presentations against StrojMachine’s motivating musical background. The first climbs saw Grošelj, Jarc and Pirih in a breakaway, not unexpectedly with a low chance of success.
Also predictably, there was a large group sprint for the win. However, up to 5 kilometres before the finish line it seemed that a group of 12 that formed on the climbs would be able to consolidate and keep the gap over the bunch. The dozen included UAE Team Emirates’ Diego Ulissi and his teammate Tadej Pogačar.
“It turned out to be a very exhausting day, but the stage was well under control by our team with Ulissi in the breakaway. The heat played a part and many cyclists experienced muscle cramps. The stage turned out harder than everyone expected it to be, but our team is happy with Consonni’s third place.”
Tadej Pogačar after the stage
53 cyclists finished in Ackermann’s time, with Tadej Pogačar taking the 17th place. After stage 1, Ackermann leads the general classification and Tadej Pogačar is the 21st. Thursday’s stage 2 will lead the racers from Maribor to Celje, including a difficult climb to Celjska koča before the end of the stage.