Chaves goes down fighting at the Tour of Slovenia

Sat 22 Jun 2019

Colombian Esteban Chaves went down fighting after a brave chase on the final descent fell short on stage four of the Tour of Slovenia.

Despite a valid effort, the recent Giro d’Italia stage winner eventually crossed the line in sixth place, 32-seconds down on a leading group that edged away on the final climb.

Penultimate Day

The Queen stage of the race was greeted with dark skies and rain as five riders headed down the road to form the breakaway. Amongst them was local man Luka Mezgec who was looking to hold on to the red jersey as the leader of the points classification.

The Slovenian took maximum points at the opening intermediate sprint and extended his lead in the competition further by crossing the line first in the following two sprints. With his work the done for the day, Mezgec waved goodbye to his fellow breakaway riders and dropped back to the peloton.

With the final category-one climb still to come the peloton were happy enough to let the break stretch their advantage out to over five minutes. But as they made their way over the two-preceding category-three climb the escapees numbers halved, with just two leaders remaining.

Final Challenge

With the final climb approaching the pace in the peloton was ramped up and as the race passed through the finish for the first time the breakaway was over, with a general classification showdown on the slopes imminent.

The strong tempo being set into the foot of the climb saw the bunch quickly strung out with Chaves to the fore. But as the gradient got steeper the Colombian began to lose contact as a group of four, including race leader Diego Ulissi (UAE-Team Emirates) edged away.

Chaves held the leading quartet in his sights for the majority of the climb but couldn’t make the effort to bridge across. He was joined by two Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec riders on the descent and the trio set about trying to reel in the leaders, but despite clawing time back, they couldn’t make it as Chaves rolled home in sixth place.

Esteban Chaves:
"It was a though day today, it was raining all day and that made it even harder. The first part of the stage we wanted to put someone in the break and also take some points with Luka for his jersey." 

"The team worked really well from the first kilometre and I want to thank the guys and also the staff, we tried to put me in the best position on GC and in the end this is my position." 

"The final climb was hard and I couldn’t go with the best today. On the downhill we went super close to catching them at one point, but we didn’t quite make, so it is what it is."

Tour of Slovenia Stage 4 Results:
1. Giovanni Visconti (Neri Sottoli - Selle Italia - KTM) 4:00:53
2. Diego Ulissi (UAE-Team Emirates) ST
3. Tadej Pogačar (UAE-Team Emirates) ST
6. Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:32

General Classification After Stage 4:
1. Diego Ulissi (UAE-Team Emirates) 15:39:28
2. Giovanni Visconti (Neri Sottoli - Selle Italia – KTM) +22
3. Aleksandr Vlasov (Gazprom-RusVelo) +0:25
6. Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +1:08

Photos Courtesy of Getty Images.