10 Feb 2024

Matevz Govekar wins in Antalya

Young Alberto Bruttomesso had sprinted to 3rd place in the opening stage of the Tour of Antalya. One day later, Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS doubled up on this performance: Matevz Govekar managed to keep up with the first part of the peloton and sprinted to the win in stage 2 from a select group of 50 riders.

The Tour of Antalya is only up for its 5th edition, and Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS has sent a very young line-up with an average age of 23 years to the Turkish area. The goals of the team are to be successful in stages and aim for a podium result on GC. For the three stages likely to be decided in sprints of larger groups, Matevz Govekar is the go-to rider, while Edoardo Zambanini and Finlay Pickering have set their sights on Saturday's Queen's stage that ends with a long and steep climb. Add 20-year-old Alberto Bruttomesso as a joker for sprint finishes and Ahmed Madan, Cameron Scott and Sergio Tu as versatile support riders. At the end of the mostly flat opening stage, Matevz Govekar could not move up to the sharp end of the peloton in a frantic finale. As a backup, Alberto Bruttomesso sprinted to a strong 3rd place.

While the second stage featured a flat first part and finale, a number of categorised climbs were waiting in between, bringing the total of ascending to 2400 meters. It took a long time for six riders to go up the road, and they saw two more riders add to their firepower later on. Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS did not send any rider into the attacks, preferring to take its share in the work to bring back the breakaway - which happened with about 10 kilometres to go. After several late attacks had been neutralised, a group of about 50 riders was sprinting for the stage win. Despite only having two teammates left up front, Matevz Govekar managed to get into a favourable position. From there, the Slovene rider made no mistake and sprinted to the win, celebrating his second race win as a professional.

1. Matevz Govekar, SVN/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, in 3:28.08 hours
2. Kenneth Van Rooy, BEL, st
3. Giovanni Lonardi, ITA, st

1. Timothy Dupont, BEL, in 2:52.08 hours
2. Giovanni Lonardi, ITA, st
3. Alberto Bruttomesso, ITA/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, st

Photos: Sprint Cycling Agency