Oh So Close for Wesley Sulzberger on Tour de SlovÃ©nie Stage TwoFri 14 Jun 2013
Wesley Sulzberger posted his best result of the season on stage two of the Tour de Slovénie, finishing in second place in a ten-up sprint. Race officials needed to consult a photo of the finish to determine the stage winner, ultimately extending top honours to Fabio Felline (Androni-Venezuela). After two days of racing, Sulzberger sits in eighth overall, the best placed ORICA-GreenEDGE rider on the same time as Sebastian Langeveld in ninth place.
“The result was determined by a millimetre,” said Sport Director Matt Wilson. “It was a really good ride by Wes, but I know he’s a bit disappointed to lose out by so little.”
Sulzberger was one of three protected riders for ORICA-GreenEDGE on the Cherry Mountain stage. Svein Tuft, who started the day in yellow after winning the opening stage time trial on Thursday, and Sebastian Langeveld, in fourth overall at the stage start, also enjoyed support from their teammates.
“It was a really, really difficult day,” said Wilson. “The stage included a big categorised climb in the first 50 kilometres. The bunch split into pieces over the climb and then came back together.”
“There were two riders up the road after that, and we had to take control a bit to bring that back,” he continued. “From there, we tried to set things up for the finish, supporting Svein, Sebastian and Wes into the bottom of the final climb.”
Two significant ascents followed by two technical descents featured in the final hour of racing. Sulzberger proved capable of matching the pace of the top climbers in the four day tour.
“The last climb was ten kilometres long, and it proved too much for Svein and Sebastian,” noted Wilson. “Wes was able to hang on with a group of ten riders that formed over the top of the climb.”
“Following the summit, there was a very technical descent through the finish town,” Wilson added. “The roads were narrow, and there were lots of corners. It was a crazy finish – nothing like a typical sprint run in, that’s for sure.”
Sulzberger handled the features of the technical finale with ease. With the finish in sight, he opened his sprint and threw his bike towards the line to earn his first stage podium during his time with ORICA-GreenEDGE. It is his third top ten in the month of June.
“Wes is carrying some really great form at the moment,” said Wilson. “If he keeps this up, the win will come soon.”