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Press Releases | 19.06.2019

Pascal Ackermann storms to victory on Tour of Slovenia opening stage

The opening stage of the 26th edition of the Tour of Slovenia was 168.5km of not too demanding terrain from Ljubljana to Rogaška Slatina. Just over 50km down the road before the finish, the riders had to take on a 2km-long climb, which was on average 8 per cent steep yet didn’t pose any significant problems for the sprinters in the field. A trio of riders made up the day’s break, which was already able to carve out a lead of more than 4 minutes after 15km in the saddle. However, the peloton, led by Juraj Sagan, gradually began to close the gap in the second half of the race. Yet on the descent of the last categorised climb, several riders, including Michael Schwarzmann, were able to break away from the main field and put themselves at the head of the race. Over the next 20km, the group rode at the front, but were not able to work in unison, and eventually a duo broke free. Schwarzmann and three other riders took up the chase behind the two leaders. They did not let them out of their sight and were able to bridge the gap soon afterwards. With 15km to the finish, Schwarzmann returned to the main field. It was expected that the stage would be decided in a mass sprint, and so BORA-hansgrohe accordingly put its hopes on Pascal Ackermann. In the end, the German road champion did not disappoint. Although he launched his sprint 500m before the finish, he was ultimately able to pull past the other fast men and take a convincing stage win. 

 

Result

01 P. Ackermann    4:04:58

02 G. Nizzolo             +0:00

03 S. Consonni          +0:00

04 L. Mezgec             +0:00

 

From the finish line

“That was a long sprint, if I say so myself! I started with 500m to go, because Mezgec was coming from behind at a fast pace, so I had to go long. I’m just happy that I was able to get to the line first. I think that I was able to recover pretty well following the Giro, and my success at my first Grand Tour really provided that extra bit of motivation. I also managed to get myself over the climbs well and it was even enjoyable out there. Because we had Schwarzi in the breakaway, we were able to go somewhat easier in the peloton. But the team rode the whole time at the front of the peloton in order to control the tempo. I’m really happy with the performance of the guys and want to thank them for their hard work.”

- Pascal Ackermann

 

“This is a fantastic victory. Congratulations to the whole team. The guys were very strong today, particularly Schwarzi, who attacked on the last categorised climb and was able to then ride in the leading group. He was an instrumental part of the win today. Pascal got over the climbs well and in the end he launched a long but convincing sprint. We’re incredibly happy with his first race since finishing the Giro d’Italia.” 

- Christian Poemer, Sports Director

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