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Croatian rides away from his rivals in tough mountaintop finish to take both the stage win and the leader's jersey in the Tour of Slovenia

Photo: Sirotti






15.06.2013 @ 16:21 Posted by Malte Philbert Jessen

Radoslav Rogina (Adria Mobil) made it a big day for his Slovenian Adria Mobil team in today's queen stage of the Tour of Slovenia as the veteran Croatian distanced all of his rivals in the tough mountaintop finish. With the win, the Croatian takes over the leader's jersey from Fabio Felline (Androni Giocattoli) with just tomorrow's flat stage left.


Radoslav Rogina is a Tour of Slovenia veteran, having raced the 8 most recent editions but despite a 6th, 4th and 2nd place in the race, the Croatian has never won the event. Finally, he is on his way to succeeding as he laid the foundations for an overall win with a victory in today's queen stage.


The 170km stage included two tough climbs on the way to the bottom of the 13km Vrsic climb which was set to decide the race. The stage started off at a rapid pace as many riders tried to join the day's early move.


Matej Mugerli (Adria Mobil), Andrej Rajsp (Radenska), Michael Rodriguez (Colombia), Laurens De Vreese (Topsport Vlaaderen) and Jan Tratnik (Tirol) formed the first promising escape and were later joined by Jeffry Romero (Colombia), Wesley Sulzberger (Orica-GreenEdge) and the Vini Fantini duo of Fabio Taborre and Francesco Failli. The group was, however, brought back and instead 11 riders went clear to form the day's breakaway.


Mugerli, Primoz Roglic (Adria Mobil), Sander Armee (Topsport Vlaanderen), Wilson Marentes (Colombia), Mauro Finetto (Vini Fantini), Adriano Malori (Lampre), Jure Bitenc (Saca), Tratnik, Andrea Pasqualon (Bardiani), Luka Pibernik (Radenska) and Sulzberger built up a gap on the day's first climb while the winner of the mountains jersey in the Giro, Stefan Pirazzi (Bardiani), gave chase. Just before the to, the Italian joined up with the leaders while Tratnik fell back into the peloton.


After 50km, the gap had grown to 4 minutes and Lampre, Meridiana Kamen and Adria Mobil now started to chase. For some time, the advantage hovered between the 3 and 4 minute marks.


In the feed zone at the 79km mark, the leaders only had 2 minutes in their hand as they started to climb the day's second and toughest climb. The gap kept coming down while the front group blew to pieces on the steep slopes.


Sulzberger, Pirazzi and Roglic - a former ski jumper who took up cycling prior to the season - were the leaders close to the top but as Pirazzi further upped the pace, Sulzberger had to let his companions go. At the top, the front dup was only 1.20 ahead of the peloton but on the descent they managed to bring their advantage back up to 1.50.


Paqualon, Sulzberger and Armee rejoined the leaders, thus forming a 5-rider front group but as Colombia upped the pace in the peloton, the main group once again got closer. As the gap had been brought down to 50 seconds, Kristjan Fajt (Adria Mobil) and Matteo Rabottini (Vini Fantini) attacked and they joined the front group after a short chase.


The reinforcement saw the break open up a gap up 1.20 while Adria Mobil chased behind. Fajt and Rabottini were, however, the fresher riders ad so they left their companions behind them. The latter even wanted to do it on his own and he hit the bottom of the final climb with a 45-second gap while all other escapees were caught by the peloton which was now led by Radenska.


On the slopes, the peloton blew to pieces as overall leader Fabio Felline fought hard to stay in contact. Sergey Renev (Astana) made the first attack and joined Rabottini, the dup extending the advantage to 55 seconds.


The Meridiana Kamen team now came to the front to set up Patrik Sinkewitz for the win and with 6km to go, the German attacked. Rogina had enough power to respond and the duo quickly passed Rabottini and Renev.


Behind, Jan Polanc (Radenska), Tadej Valjavec (Sava) and Darwin Atapuma (Colombia) chased but they did not get any closer. Instead, Rogina further upped the pace and Sinkewitz was unable to match his speed, leaving the Croatian as the sole leader with 5km to go.


The chasers regrouped at different points of the climb but there was no one catching Rogina. The veteran Croation took a solo win 39 seconds ahead of Polanc while Sinkewitz was a further 4 seconds behind.


With the win, Rogina takes over the overall lead from Felline and barring accident, he should finally win the Tour of Slovenia at the end of tomorrow's flat final stage.



1. Radoslav Rogina 4.51.11

2. Jan Polanc +0.39

3. Patrik Sinkewitz +0.43

4. Tadej Valjavec +1.08

5. Darwin Atapuma +1.31

6. Angelo Pagani +1.42

7. Tilegen Maidos +2.32

8. Jure Golcer +3.05

9. Jeffry Romero +3.18

10. Alexander Rybakov +3.24


General classification:

1. Radoslav Rogina 9.24.52

2. Jan Polanc +0.19

3. Patrik Sinkewitz +0.37

4. Tadej Valjavec +1.05

5. Angelo Pagani +1.48

6. Darwin Atapuma +2.07

7. Jure Golcer +3.02

8. Enrico Barbin +3.22

9. Tilegen Maidos +3.43

10. Alexander Rybakov +3.47



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