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Tour of Slovenia, 2nd Stage (Maribor – Celje, 146,3 km)

Spectacular finish: Luka Mezgec is hero of second stage! #video

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Luka Mezgec
Foto: Matic Klanšek Velej/Sportida

Slovenian Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton – Scott) is hero of the second stage of 26thTour of Slovenia. Grega Bole (Bahrain Merida) was second, so we got a perfect Slovenian result in Celje!

Finnish - Celje:

1. Luka Mezgec (Slo/Michelton-Scott) 3:35:55
2. Grega Bole (Slo/Bahrain-Merida)

3. Andrea Vendrame (Ita/Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec)
4. Giovanni Visconti (Ita/Neri Sottoli - Selle Italia - KTM)
5. Diego Ulissi (UAE Emirates)
6. Aleksandr Vlasov (Gazprom-RusVelo)
7. Ben Hermans (Israel Cycling Academy)
8. Ivan Rovny (Gazprom-RusVelo)
9. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Emirates)
10. Jay McCarthy (Bora-Hansgrohe) 
...
12. Jan Polanc (UAE Emires) vsi isti čas
...

IT'S OVER! Five riders came to top of Svetina with the gap of half a minute, but the chasers caught them meters ahead of the finish line. Luka Mezgec (Michelton-Scott) was in front of that group and passed all of them, won the stage and also took the green jersey.

14:55, 7 km to go: Lead is still at half a minute and nothing indicates that the group can catch them. Looks like we’ll get a stage winner among those five.

14.50, 10 km do cilja: Peterica Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus/Gazprom-Rusvelo) , Esteban Chaves (Kol/ Michelton-Scott), Diego Ulissi (Ita/Team Emirates), Ben Hermans (Bel/Israel), Giovanni Visconti (Ita/Neri Sottoli)ima pred zasledovalno skupino pol minute prednosti, v kateri sta tudi Luka Mezgec in Tadej Pogačar.

14:45, 12 km to go: Descent is over. Leaders are Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus/Gazprom-Rusvelo), Diego Ulissi (Ita/UEA Team Emirates), Ben Hermans (Bel/Israel Cycling Academy & Giovanni Visconti (Ita/Neri Sottoli)Esteban Chaves (Kol/ Michelton-Scott) – who crashed twice on the descent – is also close.

14:40: Five riders in the lead are already on the descent towards Celje. They’re about half a minute ahead of the chasers, including Tadej Pogačar and Luka Mezgec.

Gorski cilj II. kategorije - Svetina (123,7 km):
1. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus/Gazprom-Rusvelo) 
2. Diego Ulissi (Ita/Team Emirates) 
3. Esteban Chaves (Kol/ Michelton-Scott) 

14:33, 23 km to go: Leaders are now Ildar Arslanov (Rus/Gazprom-Rusvelo), Esteban Chaves (Col/ Michelton-Scott) & Diego Ulissi (Ita/Team Emirates). Tadej Pogačar lost contact with the leaders.

14:30, 25 km to go: Seven cyclists are now up in the front. Diego Ulissi is again feeling strong, Esteban Chaves and Slovenian hope Tadej Pogačar are also there.

14:23, 27 km to go: Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) has attached on the start of the final climb and split the peleton in half.

14:21: Escapees are caught. The climb to Svetina hase begun, it has an average incline of 7,7 %.

14:20: Rok Korošec (Slo/Ljubljana Gusto Santic) won intermediate sprint in Štore and will get also some prize money for that.

14:10, 32 km to go: Leading trio is just one minute & 10 seconds ahead of the main group.

14:05: Last intermediate finish of the second stage is behind us. Interesting climb to Svetina will start in couple of kilometers, and we could se a lot of interesting attacks there. Leaders are now just one minute ahead of the peloton.

Intermediate finish - Šentjur (109,4 km)
1. Rok Korošec (Slo/Ljubljana Gusto Santic)
2. David Per (Slo, Adria Mobil) 
3. Lorenzo Fortunato (Ita/ Neri Sottoli) 

14:00, 40 km to go: Breakaway riders Rok Korošec (Slo/Ljubljana Gusto Santic), Lorenzo Fortunato (Ita/ Neri Sottoli) & David Per (Slo, Adria Mobil) are still persisting. They are 1,5 minute ahead of the main group.

13:55, 47 km to go: Escapees took the points from the intermediate finish in Šmarje, they are not 1 minute 55 seconds ahead of the main group.

Intermediate finish - Šmarje pri Jelšah (98 km)
1. Rok Korošec (Slo/Ljubljana Gusto Santic)
2. Lorenzo Fortunato (Ita/ Neri Sottoli) 
3. David Per (Slo, Adria Mobil) 

13:45, 53 km to go: Leader are now 2,5 minutes ahead of the peloton. Main group with UAE Team Emirates in the front is getting closer. Trio could be caught ahead of the climb to Svetina.

13:35, 60 km to go: Team Androni riders had an unfortunate crash. Matteo Spreafico was the one that was on the ground the longest, but he can continue with the race.

13:20, 69 km to go: Main group is still after the leading trio, that is slowly loosing power. Gap is now at 3:35.

13:15, 74 km to go: Gap has shrunken a little bit. It’s now under 4 minutes.

Po Sloveniji Foto: Vid Ponikvar

13:05: Leading trio is back together, but the gap is now smaller – 4:25.

13:00, 60 km: Drama in the break. Fortunato had a bigger issue with the bike and had to chage it. He’s not in the chase after Per and Korošec, but they’re not far ahead. Gap is now at 4:45.

12:55: Peloton is now under the lead of UAE Team Emirates and the gap is now a little bit shorter, but with 4:40 still very decent.

Intermediate finish - Slovenske Konjice (55,6 km)
1. Rok Korošec (Slo/Ljubljana Gusto Santic)
2. David Per (Slo, Adria Mobil) 
3. Lorenzo Fortunato (Ita/ Neri Sottoli) 

12:50, 50 km: David Per (Adria Mobil), Rok Korošec (Ljubljana Gusto Santic) & Lorenzo Fortunato (Neri Sottoli) are keeping the lead of five minutes. Matej Drinovec (Team Slovenia) is back with the main group.

12:45: Gap between the leaders and the main group is at 5 minutes. Matej Drinovec is just 30 seconds ahead of the peloton and will shortly finish his escape.

12:38: Average speed after first hour of racing is 38,8 km/h.

Po Sloveniji Foto: Sportida

12:35, 40 km: Leaders David Per (Adria Mobil), Rok Korošec (Ljubljana Gusto Santic) in Lorenzo Fortunato (Neri Sottoli) are now almost five minutes ahead of the main group (4:45), Matej Drinovec (Team Slovenia) meanwhile continues with the brave ride and is 3:20 behind the leaders.

12:25, 35 km: Leaders are not backing down. They are now 4 minutes and 20 seconds ahead of the main group. Matej Drinovec is 2,5 minutes behind the leaders.

12:15: Leaders had passed first mountain finish, they are about 3 minutes ahead of the peloton. Slovenian Matej Drinovec is still between the break and the main group.

KOM finish, 3rdcategory climb – Veliko Tinje (26,5 km):
1. Rok Korošec (Slo/Ljubljana Gusto Santic)
2. Lorenzo Fortunato (Ita/Neri Sottoli) 
3. David Per (Slo/Adria Mobil)

12:05: Lorenzo Fortunato(Ita, Neri Sottoli) has passed Matej Drinovec (Team Slovenia) and joined David Per (Adria Mobil) and Rok Korošec (Ljubljana Gusto Santic) in the lead. They are now 3 minutes 15 seconds ahead of the peloton.

12:00: Leaders are already on the climb to first mountain finish on the stage – Veliko Tinje. They are 2 min 40 sec ahead of the peloton. Drinovec is 50 seconds behind them, 10 seconds behind Drinovec is Italian Lorenzo Fortunato (Neri Sottoli).

11:52: Matej Drinovec (Team Slovenia) is after the two escapees. Leaders Per and Korošec are now one minute and 15 seconds ahead of the peloton.

11:50, 18 km: Looks like we have a successful break. Slovenians David Per (Adria Mobil) and Rok Korošec (Ljubljana Gusto Santic) have a lead of 30 seconds.

11:40, 11 km: Still no successful breakaway. Three riders were close, about 50 meters ahead, but peloton caught up with them.

2 etapa Foto: Sportida

11:35: Group is stretched out and due to attacks also very fast. So far we didn’t have a successful break.

11:28: The race is ON! Race director has waved the flag and let riders know that they can go as fast as they want now. We can expect breakaways today as well.

11:22: 123 cyclists started 2nd stage of the race, six less than the first stage. Cyclists are for now riding behind the car, the race will start for real in couple of minutes.

Marcos Tavares Foto: Sportida

11:20: The 2nd stage of Tour of Slovenia has started. Cyclists started 146,3 kilometers long route from Maribor to Celje, at the start they were cheers by Marcos Tavares, captain of the Soccer club Maribor.

Start - Maribor

What is ahead of the cyclists?

Cyclists were caught by a surprise yesterday on the climb to Planina, today they will have to face two very serious climbs. First is waiting for them soon after start – the climb to Veliko Tinje. Average incline of the climb is 6,6%, even harder and more decisive climb is waiting for them on the end of the stage.

They will start a climb to Svetina about 30 kilometers ahead of the finish. This is second category climb with average incline of 7,7 %. The road from there will lead towards Celje Hut, and followed by descen to Celje, host city of the today's finish. Stage doesn't have a mountain finish, but we expect that best climbers on the race will fight for the victory, with high expectactions from cyclists like Grega Bole (Bahrain-Merida) and maybe also Luka Mezgec (Michelton - Scott).

They are both good climbers as well, but that is not the case for current leader Ackermann, that will almost surly lost the leading position after today’s stage.

3D-presentation of 2. stage:

Chance for the Slovenian miracle boy?

Opening stage showed that Italian Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) means business, but we aslo expect a lot from his teammates Jan Polanc and Slovenian miracle boy Tadej Pogačar. It will be also interesting to see what are intentions of Colombian Esteban Chaves (Michelton-Scott) that won a stage on the recent Giro.

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