Seven World Tour teams have already confirmed their participation, including last year’s winning team Bora-Hansgrohe. Special guest of the press conference was Primož Roglič (LottoNL-Jumbo), 2015 #TourOfSlovenia winner and a big favorite for the jubilee edition.
Tour of Slovenia will take place from 13th till 17th June, race will have five stages in total length of 664 kilometers. 21 teams from 16 courtiers from four continents have already signed-up for the race, among them are also seven World Tour teams. Race is experiencing big growth in the past year, also thanks to global recognition. Race director Bogdan Fink explains: “Live broadcast of the 2017 edition on Eurosport was extremely well accepted and naturally this further increased the interest for the race. We’ll again have all stages live on Eurosport, as well as on Slovenian national television. Race is hard and only a complete cyclist will be able to win the race and take home the green jersey. Fourth stage in the Alps will be the hardest, but the time-trial on the last day will determine the winners.”
Primož Roglič (LottoNL-Jumbo), fresh out of victory on Vuelta al Pais Vasco, already knows how hard it is to win in Slovenia, but he’ll do his best to take home a very special trophy – replica of 5200 years old wheel that was found in Ljubljana marshes and is believed to be oldest know wheel in the world. Primož Roglič: “I expect a fierce battle for the green jersey. I’m glad that I’m so close to the jersey and the trophy today, but we’ll all be equally away from it on the start of the race. I’m glad I will race Tour of Slovenia again and will do my best to win the race for my new team. Each of the stages will add to the excitement, with hardest stages waiting for us on the end.”
Primož is one of four ambassadors of the race that will help to create bigger hype among the fans and bring more supporters to the race. Others are Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton–Scott), Matej Mohorič (Bahrain–Merida) and Jani Brajkovič (Adria Mobil Cycling).
Strongest competition in the history of the race
Seven World Tour teams had confirmed participation, including Bora-Hansgrohe, Team Katusha Alpecin, Bahrain-Merida, Team EF Education Cannondale, Team LottoNL-Jumbo, Dimension Data and Mitchelton-Scott. Top sprinters like Marcel Kittel and Mark Cavendish are expected to start the race, organizers also expect defending champion Rafal Majka. Majka secured 2017 overall victory on the mountains stage with the finish on Rogla.
Mojca Novak, president of the organizational committee: “We’re ahead of a new milestone in the history of this exceptional sports event. Tour of Slovenia was first organized to honor the birth of our new country, and was later organized every season, with exception of 1997. We already hosted 1525 cyclists from 56 countries in the last quarter of a century, and we will add more amazing names to the list in 2018!”
Green jersey is reserved for the overall leader of the Slovenian tour, hence also the slogan Fight for Green. But it’s not just the fight for the racing glory, it also symbolizes the fight for our environment and sustainable way of living. Slovenia is one of the greenest countries in the world, which is also a part of the reason why cyclists love this race.
Five stages will take riders across Slovenia
First stage will go from Lendava to Murska Sobota, with a short visit to Hungary. This is a flat stage, which means a first great opportunity for the sprinters. Seconds stage will start in Maribor and will already be more diverse, it will also cross 100 years old dam on river Drava. Breakaways are possible, however anything but a sprint finish in Rogaška Slatina would be a surprise. Third stage will take cyclists from Slovenjske Konjice to Celje, and here is where we’ll see who is in the fight for overall victory. Stage has a particularly hard finish with two climbs. So-called Alps stage will start in Slovenian capital Ljubljana and take riders to one of the nicest mountain passes in the region, including to famous Pavič Pass on the border with Austria. After last climb of the day stage will finish in Kamnik. List of candidates for the race victory will be very short after that day, but they will all be ahead of the one more challenge – over 20 kilometers long individual time-trial from Trebnje to Novo mesto.
Or with other words – five stages will take riders through some of the most beautiful areas of Slovenia, something that is also important for the tourism in the region. Msc. Maja Pak, Director General of the Slovenian Tourist Board: “Tour of Slovenia is excellent opportunity to increase therecognizability of Slovenia as the perfect destination for active holidays and sports tourism, after all they are two key products of the Slovenian tourism. This is why live broadcast on Eurosport 1 & 2 is so important for us, it gives us a chance to show our beautiful country to million of active people around the world.”
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Tour of Slovenia PR Service