Mezgec sprints to victory in the one-day Veenendaal Classic

Fri 18 Aug 2017

In-form Slovenian champion Luka Mezgec sprinted to an impressive victory today in the one-day Dutch race, Veenendaal Classic.

The 195kilometre race was animated with a breakaway of nine riders escaping as ORICA-SCOTT took control of the peloton, setting the tempo on the front to gradually reel in the leaders.

It came down to 1.5kilometres to go before the remaining two breakaway riders were finally caught with ORICA-SCOTT timing it to perfection, putting Mezgec in a good position to challenge for the victory.

After the amount of work his teammates did all day, Mezgec was satisfied to take his third victory for ORICA-SCOTT this season.

“It was fantastic to take the win today, after the work my team did all day, to actually finish it off and take a win I feel really happy and satisfied,” Mezgec explained. “The team did a really great job, Mitch Docker was leading from 1.5kilometre to go all the way until the last corner and then Roger Kluge took over.”

“I was just waiting, waiting and I saw the 200metres to go sign and I went. Maybe it was a little too early but in the end it was enough.

“I am in a good shape right now and I am really looking forward to Sunday to help Caleb Ewan try and win the race another time.”

How it happened:

The 195kilometre one-day race began with an aggressive start and numerous attacks. A large group of 37riders clipped off the front of the peloton and hovered around 30seconds but like previous attempts it was quickly brought back.

After almost two hours of racing the rain began to pour just as a breakaway of nine riders established itself and opened up a three minute advantage.

As the kilometres ticked down, riders slowly lost contact with the breakaway, leaving six riders out front with 35kilometres to go.

ORICA-SCOTT, with the help of Cannondale-Drapac, led the chase and slowly the time gap to the leaders dropped down to just one minute.

With six kilometres to go the breakaway split into two, leaving two riders ahead but after a fierce chase from ORICA-SCOTT, it proved to be too much and the duo were caught.

Mezgec led out the sprint in the final few hundred metres and was strong enough to hold on and take the race victory.

Veenendaal Classic results:

1. Luka Mezgec (ORICA-SCOTT)
2. Wouter Wippert (Cannondale-Drapac) 
3. Moreno Hofland (Lotto-Soudal)

Photo courtesy of TDWsport