Matej Mohoric wins for Gino Mäder
Just two days after the tragic death of Gino Mäder, Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS lined up for the final stage of the Tour of Slovenia with high ambitions. The race went according to plan and Matej Mohoric sprinted to the stage win in Nove Mesto, dedicating this win to his deceased friend and team mate.
The past week has been the most difficult for Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS since it has entered pro cycling. In the finale of the Queen’s stage of the Tour de Suisse Gino Mäder missed a corner on the descent from the Albula pass, crashing heavily. Despite a quick and successful reanimation, Mäder succumbed to his severe injuries on the next day. As a consequence of this tragic accident the race organisation decided to neutralise stage 6. After this stage that turned into an impressive procession in honour and memory of Gino, the riders in red, orange and black decided to quit the race. Despite having Pello Bilbao in 5th place on GC, the sportive aspects clearly faded from the spotlight seen this human tragedy.
At the Tour of Slovenia that was held at the same time Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS decided to continue to race. In the first two flat stages Phil Bauhaus had scored two podium finishes, sprinting to a 2nd and a 3rd place respectively. As for the Queen's stage Wout Poels and Matej Mohoric both conceded 36 seconds to the stage winner. The riders in red, orange and black went into the final stage finishing in Nove Mesto with high ambitions. They took a large share of the pace setting work in the peloton and made sure the day's early breakaway stayed well within the peloton's reach. With about 10 kilometers to go, the last attackers had been caught, also thanks to an impressive acceleration from young Nicolo Buratti. Thus the race could start all over again at the foot of the short but very steep Trska Gora climb.
Matej Mohoric needed no second invitation and accelerated hard early on - and this attack was successful. The only rider who could keep up with Mohoric was GC leader Filippo Zana, and these two riders competed for the stage win in the roads of Nove Mesto. On the final kilometer Mohoric cleverly forced Zana into the leading position, came out of the final corner with way more momentum and timed his acceleration from Zana's slipstream perfectly on the ascending finishing straight. Matej Mohoric crossed the finish line with an advantage of multiple bicycle lengths, clearly dedicating this victory to his deceased team mate Gino Mäder. Thus what has been the most difficult and painful week in its existence from Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS ended with a silver lining.
29TH TOUR OF SLOVENIA, STAGE 5: VRHNIKA - NOVE MESTO, 142.6KM
1. Matej Mohoric, SVN/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, in 3:07.49 hours
2. Filippo Zana, ITA, st
3. Luka Mezgec, SVN, + 0.16
FINAL OVERALL STANDINGS
1. Filippo Zana, ITA, in 20:00.24 hours
2. Matej Mohoric, SVN/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, + 0.18
3. Diego Ulissi, ITA, + 0.23
Photos: Sprint Cycling Agency