Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) won the first prologue of his career at the Tour de Slovénie in his first race since withdrawing from the Giro d'Italia. The win was Matthews' fourth individual victory as he covered the 8.8km course in 10:05, six seconds ahead of Kristijan Koren (Cannondale) with Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) in third.
"Judging by how I was feeling in the warm-up, I wasn't too confident in the time trial today," said Matthews. "In the end, I got there and did my best. Despite the feeling I had in the warm-up, it was enough to win. It's nice to come off altitude and take a win straight away. It's a good confidence boost going into the next few stages and the next big goals of the year."
Matthews is also targeting victory on stage 2, a lumpy 160.7km from Ribnica to Kočevje and is also looking to hold onto the race leader's jersey. Something he's accustomed to after spending six days in the Giro's maglia rosa.
"It's a really good course for us," said GreenEdge's sports director Matt Wilson of stage 2. "There's quite a hard climb with 30 kilometres to go, which suits Michael really well. We're definitely be going out there trying to get the stage win with him again."
"I've done lots of climbing training at altitude recently," Matthews said. "Hopefully that does me a favour tomorrow, and I can go for another really good result like today. We'll enjoy the win tonight and get back to business tomorrow. We have a great team here to support me in this role."
Simon Yates also had a successful return to racing after breaking his collarbone at the Tour de Turkey as the fastest young rider in the prologue and starts stage 2 as the leader of that classification.
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