Kangert climbs to sixth on punishing Tour of Slovenia Queen stage

Estonia Tanel Kangert climbed to sixth place on the punishing summit finish to the Queen stage of the Tour of Slovenia.

The early breakaway was reeled in at the foot of the penultimate climb of the day, with Team BikeExchange taking it up at the front of the peloton. Andrey Zeits applied the pressure at the head of the pack and by the time the Kazak rider swung off, just 12 riders remained at the head of the race.

Kangert was amongst the select group, with the stage set for a showdown on the final climb to the finish. UAE-Team Emirates made use of their strength in numbers as they set a high tempo on the steep slopes, with Kangert unable to go with the increase in tempo.

The 34-year-old continued to battle his way up the climb to take a strong sixth place finish that sees him move into sixth place overall with one more stage remaining.

Tanel Kangert:
“I had a really good feeling today, the whole day I was feeling perfect, the team was around me and I knew the finish suited me really well. So on the second to last climb we rode as a team, we started from a perfect position and Zeits set a good tempo so there were only 12 guys left.

Then I was waiting until the last two kilometres, but that was actually when I started to feel less good. It was probably the heat that got to me in the end, I’m not used to racing in 30 plus degrees.

I wanted to perform better for my team and myself, but sixth place was the maximum I could do in those conditions. But my legs are feeling good and we’ll keep on trying.”

Gene Bates (Sport Director):
“Today went as well as we’d hope, the boys did a great race. It was quite negative at the start, it was quite obvious that UAE weren’t going to let any WorldTour riders into the early breakaway of the day.

So the guys sat back and we planned to get Tanel and Andrey into the best possible position for the final climbs. The guys did a fantastic job of doing that, they all committed into the base of the penultimate climb, then Andrey did a great job of setting a tempo in the earlier slopes.

It was then up to Tanel to achieve the best result he could and I think we got the most out of the team today.

2021 Tour of Slovenia Stage 4 – Results:
1. Diego Ulissi 4:15:28
2. Tadej Pogacar +0:01
3. Matteo Sobrero ST
6. Tanel Kangert (Team BikeExchange) +53”

2021 Tour of Slovenia Stage 4 – GC:
1. Tadej Pogacar 15:11:26
2. Diego Ulissi +1’21”
3. Matteo Sobrero +1’35”
6. Tanel Kangert (Team BikeExchange) 2’34”

Photo Courtesy of Getty Sport.