The 2019 Tour of Slovenia opened with a blistering sprint in Rogaška Slatina, where Giro d'Italia double-stage winner Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) continued on his good form, taking the win ahead of Giacomo Nizzolo (Dimension Data) and Simone Consonni (UAE Team Emirates).
The 168.5km opening stage from Ljubljana to Rogaška Slatina included two mild KOMs, two intermediate sprints and a relatively flat run to the finish. Mark Cavendish lost contact with the field on the second category-3 climb of the day and finished more than 10 minutes down as he continues to comeback from Epstein-Barr virus.
A dangerous group of 11 formed off the front late in the race, but Ackermann's Bora-Hansgrohe team was able to corral the escapees with 6km to go, and the lead-out trains took over from there. Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-Scott) launched a long-range sprint some 500 metres out, followed quickly by UAE team Emirates teammates Rui Oliveira and Simone Consonni, and then Ackermann. In the end, the German proved too much for the others as he added his sixth win of the season and took the overall race lead in the process.
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