Tour de Slovenie: Taaramae wins stage 2

Estonian takes overall lead

Rein Taaramae (Katusha) capitalised on the form with which he finished the Giro d'Italia to take victory on the crucial stage 2 of the Tour of Slovenia on Friday. 

The Estonian triumphed on the final mountain stage of the Giro and it was another summit finish in Slovenia that allowed him to clinch his second victory since joining Katusha at the start of the season. With the early breakaway caught, Taaramae attacked 5km from the top of the final climb to Golte - which came at the end of a punishingly long 217km day in the saddle - and held on convincingly to take the win and move into the overall lead.

He was followed by two neo-pros; 22-year-old Australian Jack Haig (Orica-GreenEdge) finishing second and 19-year-old Colombian Egan Arley Bernal (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) third.

"It was so hard today with three big climbs – one at 11km and two at 15km. The last one to Golte averaged 7.3% with gradients up to 23%," Taaramae said. "I had a 36 chainring in the front and even with that chainring it was hard, but I made it. It’s nice, especially since I had to change my bike because of a wheel problem three times in 15 kilometers and just before the last climb. Fortunately I had good legs and a super team.

"Also my team director Claudio Cozzi told me to stay calm. He knew that I would have possibilities on this final climb. He assured me I did not have to panic in advance. At 5km from the finish, we caught the last riders of a five-man breakaway and then some attacks started.

"Our group started to get smaller and smaller with more riders dropped. In the end I stayed in front with my teammate Pavel Kochetkov and Jack Haig from Orica-GreenEdge. I didn’t know that young guy but he was surprisingly strong. Every time I attacked, he followed. That’s why I decided to put in one more big attack. I gave everything for several hundred meters. After 400 meters I saw Haig was dropping meter by meter. I felt the victory was for me but that last kilometer was so steep, around 15%. It seemed to never end, but in the end I made it."

Brief Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rein Taaramae (Est) Team Katusha5:46:40 
2Jack Haig (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge0:00:36 
3Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec0:00:50 
4Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Team Katusha0:00:58 
5Jure Golcer (Slo) Adria Mobil0:01:01 
6Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Slovenia0:01:03 
7Antonio Santoro (Ita) Meridiana Kamen Team0:01:08 
8Floris De Tier (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:01:14 
9Rodolfo Andres Torres Agudelo (Col) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec0:01:18 
10José Joa Pimenta Costa Mendes (Por) Bora-Argon 180:01:20 
General classification after stage 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rein Taaramae (Est) Team Katusha10:14:16 
2Jack Haig (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge0:00:36 
3Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec0:00:50 
4Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Team Katusha0:00:58 
5Jure Golcer (Slo) Adria Mobil0:01:01 
6Antonio Santoro (Ita) Meridiana Kamen Team0:01:08 
7Floris De Tier (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:01:14 
8Michele Gazzara (Ita) Norda - Mg. K Vis0:01:28 
9Jan Barta (Cze) Bora-Argon 18  
10Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Slovenia0:01:30 

 

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