With a 3rd stage win out of 4 and the overall victory of Rafal Majka, BORA – hansgrohe dominates in Slovenia. The German team from Raubling, makes it now 7 wins (Rund um Köln, Tour de Suisse and Tour of Slovenia) in just one week and proves to be ready for the Grand Départ in Düsseldorf.
Opposite to yesterday’s mountain top finish, which saw Rafal Majka taking the stage and the overall lead, today’s last stage was one for the fast men again. The 160 kilometers between Rogaska Slatina and Novo Mesto, was marked bei just one minor KOM and two intermediate sprints. For BORA – hansgrohe the day was about defending Majka’s overall lead, but the team also wanted to fight for a third stage win in Slovenia with sprinter Sam Bennett.
Again, a leading group went up the road early in the stage. The 6 escapees increased their gap to about 5 Minutes, but BORA – hansgrohe was controlling the race in the peloton without and hectic. When also the other sprinter teams helped pulling in the peloton, the gap started to come down gradually.
On the last 15k all breakaway riders were caught, as the peloton rode the final on a 5k finishing circuit. Because of the tricky last kilometers, the lead-out trains formed early and battled for the best positions.
BORA – hansgrohe came to the front late, as Rudi Selig moved up with Sam Bennett in the perfect moment. Bennett opened the sprint from the front and secured his 2nd stage win. This means BORA – hansgrohe took 3 stages and the overall victory in Slovenia. Bennett nad Majka also won the sprint and the mountains classification of the race.
“We worked the whole day for the jersey of Rafa, therefore I didn’t have a lot of guys for the sprint today. But Rudi brought us up in the perfect moment, we took the outside on the penultimate corner, to be inside on the last one. On the bridge, we were in front and I did let a little gap to come with full speed out of his slipstream on the last 200m. We can be very proud of the team this week, it was a perfect performance from all of us!” – Sam Bennett
“It was hard today for us to go for both goals, protecting Rafa in the GC and taking on the sprint with Sam. After his crash two days ago, this final was made for Sam, and we wanted him to get another chance. So, in the end everything worked perfectly for us and our 6 helpers, who sacrificed themselves the whole race, were the key to success. We dominated the whole week, I am really proud of the boys. And to beat Cavendish in the end also doesn’t happen every day.” – Christian Pömer, sports director