ORICA-GreenEDGE closed out the Tour of Slovenia with five riders in the top ten on the final stage time trial in Ljubljana. Daryl Impey snagged the final spot on the podium, in third, with Michael Hepburn and Jens Mouris hot in his heels in fourth and fifth. Sam Bewley put his pursuit skills to good use to finish seventh as Brett Lancaster time trialed to ninth. Kristijan Koren (Liquigas-Cannondale) took the stage win, 18 seconds ahead of Impey. Janez Brajkovic (Astana) slotted into sixth on the stage to secure the overall win.
“The course suited the strength of our riders,” said Sports Director Matt White. “It might only be the Tour of Slovenia, but we take every race we go to seriously. The boys put in 100% effort today.”
The 17.8 kilometer course lacked technical elements.
“The course began and finished in Ljubljana,” noted White. “The majority of the route was in the city. It was a flat, fast time trial, and we had ideal conditions for it. It’s a warm day, and there was very little wind.”
White was especially impressed with the efforts shown by Impey and Hepburn.
“Daryl’s ride was excellent,” he said. “Heppy did a lot better than I expected, too. I thought he was more tired than he turned out to be. They both showed absolute guts in the time trial today.”
Reflecting on the week, White considers the four day stage race to be a positive experience for the team.
“It was a solid four day block,” said White. “We came here as preparation for the Tour de France. The week was not too hard but hard enough to get the team back in action as we look forward to July. We all enjoyed the week. It was a great race with good accommodations, strong organization and great weather in a beautiful country. We’ll be back for sure.”
“Although our Tour riders are here for Tour prep, most of the guys here will be training, not racing, in July,” added White. “So for them, they’ll look towards National Championships next week – and then they’ll rest ahead of the second part of the season.”