Tour of Slovenia. Matteo Sobrero fights to the third place on the queen stage
Matteo Sobrero showed his great form after the Giro d’Italia, finishing third today atop Sveta Gora climb on the queen stage of the Tour of Slovenia. The young Astana – Premier Tech rider was the only one who was able to follow a knockouting attack of UAE-Team Emirates riders on the steepest climb Sveta Gora (2.4 km, 13.5% average) near Nova Gorica. Sobrero did his best to stay next to the race leader Tadej Pogacar and his teammates who were keeping an incredible pace on the final climb. At the finish Matteo tried to follow the attack of Diego Ulissi and almost caught him, but at the end of the day he finished third passed also by Pogacar right before the finish line.
“I did all I could today and till the last moment I was hoping to fight for a stage win. But at the same time, I am quite happy with my third place behind two big champions as Ulissi and Pogacar. I think it is a great result for me and I am happy with this stage. The team provided me with the great support and I was able to save some energy for the final and it helped me a lot to stay up there with the best riders”, – said Matteo Sobrero.
Once the daily breakaway has been caught back by the peloton before two last climbs of the day, the team of the GC leader Tadej Pogacar took the full control over the race, increasing the pace dramatically and making a huge selection in the peloton. There was just a reduced group of GC contenders on the top of Ravnica, the penultimate climb of the day and later on the steepest slopes of the final ascent to Sveta Gora only three riders of UAE-Team Emirates and Astana – Premier Tech’s Matteo Sobrero remained at the front fighting for the stage win.
The third place on the queen stage brought Sobrero the third position in the General Classification with only one stage left.
“We can be proud with the performance of Matteo Sobrero on today’s stage. He did a phenomenal race, fighting with last year Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar on the equal. We have no regrets about this stage as Matteo as well as the whole team did the maximum possible. It was impossible to fight for the win against the roster which UAE Team is going to bring to the Tour de France. So, we can be happy with the podium place of Matteo Sobrero both on the queen stage and in the General Classification. Tomorrow we will do our best to protect his podium place”, – said Giuseppe Martinelli.
Tour of Slovenia, Stage 4, Ajdovscina – Nova Gorica, 164.1 km.
Stage Top-3: 1. Diego Ulissi (UAE-Team Emirates); 2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates); 3. Matteo Sobrero (Astana – Premier Tech).
Astana – Premier Tech stage Top-3: 3. Matteo Sobrero; 9. Javier Romo; 24. Fabio Felline.
Photo credit: @Getty Images