Grega Bole of Lampre stormed to victory on stage 1 of the Dauphiné, overcoming his disappointment at crashing out of Paris-Nice in March. “This is my first Pro Tour win, so I’m very happy”, the 24-year-old Slovenian said after winning the stage into Saint-Laurent-du-Pont.
He came second in stage 1 of Paris-Nice behind Greg Henderson but was a victim of a bad crash two days later in Aurillac. “I had two broken ribs and my thorax was perforated, so I had to stay in bed for one and a half months because it was too painful to move. Slowly I restarted cycling and I resumed racing last week but I already have great legs here.”
He was second again in stage 3 of the Bayern Rundfahrt but he desperately wanted to get his first win of the year. It came on the right day. “A stage like today’s suited me to perfection because there was a small hill close to the finish”, Bole said. “I go well when hills are two or three kilometres long and other sprinters can’t follow. But I’ve had a fright because a Cofidis rider crashed downhill (Samuel Dumoulin) and I only came back into the front group at the start of the last kilometre. Two riders from Sky opened the sprint and I went out with 200 metres to go.”
The former winner of the U23 Liège-Bastogne-Liège is looking ahead to the Tour de France, where he’ll line up alongside Damiano Cunego and Alessandro Petacchi.
“I think I’m made for races like the Tour of Flanders and the Amstel Gold Race”, he said. “When the hills are not too hard and too long, they’re good for me.”