Tour of Slovenia: Groenewegen wins stage 2 sprint

Dylan Groenewegen (BikeExchange-Jayco) won stage 2 of the Tour of Slovenia, triumphing in a reduced bunch sprint in Rogaska Slatina.

The Dutchman threaded his way through a messy finish to raise his arms for the fifth time in the colours of BikeExchange-Jayco.

Lionel Taminiaux (Alpecin-Fenix) produced a powerful sprint from a long way back to take second place, while Pascal Ackermann (UAE Team Emirates) claimed the final spot on the podium.

For Groenewegen, there was redemption after a winless week of suffering at last week's Critérium du Dauphiné, where he was ridden out of contention on the climbs. The victory will feel even sweeter given the way he survived the punchy inclines in Slovenia to make the final group of 35 that contested the finish, while key sprinting rival Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) was left behind.

The 174.2km stage from Ptuj to Rogaska Slatina featured only one categorised climb but a series of short inclines with just under 50km to go helped to split the bunch and leave just 36 riders up front.

BikeExchange-Jayco used their numbers to keep the Merlier group at bay all the way to the finish. The gap dropped to around 30 seconds with 10km to go but contact was never made.

On the run-in, UAE Team Emirates, who'd also been helping to set the pace, showed their faith in Ackermann by sending stage 1 winner and overall leader Rafal Majka to do a turn along with Tour de France champion Tadej Pogacar.

Groenewegen elected not to directly follow his lead-out man Luka Mezgec when the Slovenian opened up on the right instead, tracking Ackermann's pilot, Rui Oliveira. That allowed the Bardiani-CSF duo of Filippo Fiorelli and Luca Colnaghi to follow Mezgec and storm through on the right. The Italian pair both hit the front and started sprinting alongside one another, while Groenewegen dodged traffic and had to stop pedalling for a split second to avoid crashing.

He then looked to move around the Bardiani riders to the right, with Ackermann lacking speed and opening the door. Groenewegen then finished it off in convincing fashion, as Taminiaux came from well back to claim an impressive second place and Ackermann moved past the facing Bardiani riders for third.

Majka retained the overall leader's jersey, with Pogacar still in second place ahead of Friday's uphill finish.

Results powered by FirstCycling

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Patrick Fletcher
Deputy Editor

Deputy Editor. Patrick is an NCTJ-trained journalist who has seven years’ experience covering professional cycling. He has a modern languages degree from Durham University and has been able to put it to some use in what is a multi-lingual sport, with a particular focus on French and Spanish-speaking riders. After joining Cyclingnews as a staff writer on the back of work experience, Patrick became Features Editor in 2018 and oversaw significant growth in the site’s long-form and in-depth output. Since 2022 he has been Deputy Editor, taking more responsibility for the site’s content as a whole, while still writing and - despite a pandemic-induced hiatus - travelling to races around the world. Away from cycling, Patrick spends most of his time playing or watching other forms of sport - football, tennis, trail running, darts, to name a few, but he draws the line at rugby.

Latest on Cyclingnews