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Luka Mezgec wins his first Slovenian road race title

Sun 25 Jun 2017

Recent Tour of Slovenia stage winner Luka Mezgec has continued his great run of form by taking out the Slovenian Road Race Championships today.

The 28-year-old sprinted to victory in Kranj under rainy conditions to claim his first every elite national title and bring the Slovenian colours to ORICA-SCOTT.

“It was a hard day, the Slovenian nationals are always so hard,” explained Mezgec. “I knew I was in good shape coming into the race but the nationals are always a big lottery, especially this year with six Bahrain-Merida guys so I knew it would never be an easy day.”

“I have been second twice so this is my first time winning the national title and I am really happy.”

With a fairly small field of riders unlike the usual WorldTour races, the race began with many attacks in the opening 30kilometres before a group of seven riders established a gap and successfully stayed away until the finish line.

With the pressure on from the chase behind, Mezgec and the other breakaway riders had to fight all day to remain out front and keep in a position to battle for the national title.

“The race was only 150kilometres long but with six riders from Bahrain-Merida it was tough,” Mezgec continued. “The guys behind were always chasing so we really had to go deep all day.“

“On the last lap I got dropped on the climb after an attack from Grega Bole (Bahrain-Merida). After I came back we were chasing hard, doing swap offs with Primoz Roglic (Lotto-Jumbo), one rider from CCC and one rider from a Slovenian continental team to try bring him back. 

“I knew they would race hard all day against me to try and get away as they know I am a fast rider. In the sprint I had really good legs so it was actually an easy sprint.”

“It was great to have support from ORICA-SCOTT with our soigneur Miha here today, making bottles and rice cakes and doing everything to help me.”

Earlier today Jens Keukeleire finished in fourth place in the Belgian championships, Roman Kreuziger also finished fourth in the Czech championships and Roger Kluge finished sixth in the German championships.

Photos courtesy of ©TDWsport.com

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