Team Bahrain Victorious Ready for a 7th Tour of Slovenia Appearance

The 30th ‘Jubilee’ edition of the Tour of Slovenia will take riders around the country and across borders, for five days from Wednesday 12th June until Sunday 16th June. The route measures 834,4 km in total, and has 12.345m of elevation gain. Team Bahrain Victorious’ line-up is Nikias Arndt, Phil Bauhaus, Pello Bilbao, Nicolò Buratti, Matevž Govekar, Matej Mohorič and Edoardo Zambanini.

The first start will be on the northeast flat part of Slovenia in Murska Sobota, and the route will lead the cyclists through three neighbouring countries, Austria, Hungary, and Croatia, which is unique in the European area. The route of the first, fairly long stage, is not demanding, but it’s a long day with quite a few technical turns. Considering the straightforward nature of the route with one solitary 4th category climb, the first leader in Ormož will probably be decided by a bunch sprint.

The traditional “Styrian classic” will also be part of the parcours this year, meaning that before the technically demanding last part of the stage, the competitors will have to climb from Laško to Celjsko koča. Although there is still a long way to go from the top to the finish line in Rogaška Slatina, the climb could have a significant impact on the outcome of the stage. The victory is likely to be decided by a sprint from the main peloton.

The extremely varied route from Ljubljana to Nova Gorica will certainly bring the first pointers as to which cyclists will fight for the final victory. After a descent to Ajdovščina, the route of the stage is extremely varied. Two climbs to Ravnica and the route over Goriška Brdo is certainly enough for the first serious test of the best in this year’s race. After the Goriške Brda, the cyclists will also cross the national border with Italy, and with this, the race will connect all four neighbouring countries with Slovenia for the first time in history.

Day four is the ‘Queen stage’ and contains three climbs that provide an opportunity to escape before the summit finish to Krvavec. The stage is not long, but will certainly be dynamic. Competitors aiming for a high ranking will be active and it is assumed that the final climb will decide this year’s race across Slovenia.

The last stage starts in the town of Šentjernej, and the finish will traditionally be in Novo Mesto., where Mohorič won S5 12 months ago.

The stage isn’t too tough, but in the last part, the route is dominated by Dolenjska, with several small ups and downs and technical turns which Matej likes very much. Before the finish of the race on the main square, the competitors will – as usual – have to climb the third category climb on Trška gora, which can be very selective, so a small group is expected at the finish.

Sports Director Borut Božič, who rode this race as a professional rider many times, explained the strategy for Team Bahrain Victorious:

“Leader of the race will be Pello Bilbao who suites the queen stage the most. The first two stages we focus on sprinter Phil Bauhaus, two stages are suitable for Matej, finishing in Nova Gorica and Novo mesto. We have a strong team and because of that our goals are very high.”

Leader of the race Pello Bilbao said about the race: “It will be my first time racing in Slovenia. I am not in the perfect situation because I am not 100% healthy, but I hope that I will be fine before the start. I expect a super nice race, we have a lot of staff and riders from Slovenia, I am looking forward to the new race. My colleagues are telling me that they like the country and the race and they all talk super positive things about the country and the race. It will be an important race for me to come back to the competition to take a good rhythm to force the body and try to make a good step before the Tour. It is really important these last weeks before the Tour. The tour starts with a very difficult stage and we have to be sharp so I want to accelerate the maximum possible in this coming three weeks and Slovenia is going to be a really important point for me.”



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