STA, 20 June 2019 - Slovenian Luka Mezgec of Mitchelton-Scott won the second stage of Tour of Slovenia on Thursday. Fans at the finish line in Celje were delighted to see that the second place also went to a Slovenian, Grega Bole of Bahrain Merida. Italian Andreo Vendrame of Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec came in third.
Mezgec emerged as the best rider in a long sprint today, taking the overall lead from German Pascal Ackermann, who won the first stage yesterday. Bole is second overall, 4 seconds behind Mezgec.
"It really was an interesting stage with a very demanding finish. The climb to Celjska Koča is hard. I knew I needed to perform the best I can," Mezgec said after the race.
It seemed that the 146-kilometre stage will be decided by a group of leaders but the pursuing group, including Mezgec, Bole and Slovenia's Tadej Pogačer and Jan Polanc (both UAE Emirates), caught up with them only a couple hundred metres before the finish line.
Pogačar crossed the finish line as ninth and Polanc was twelfth.
Tomorrow, the cyclists are in for a 170 kilometre stage between Žalec and Idrija, which will expectedly produce the likely names battling for the overall win. The last stage will take place on Sunday.
Mezgec's victory today was the 52nd time that a Slovenian has won a stage of Tour of Slovenia, which was first staged in 1993.
Meanwhile, last year's Tour of Slovenia winner Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma), who was third in Giro d'Italia this year, announced on Twitter last night that his partner Lora Klinc had given birth, posting a picture of him holding the newborn.