Jan Tratnik finished 3rd on the longest stage of Tour of Slovakia. He will approach tomorrow’s final day of racing in the yellow jersey.
Info: Stage 3, June 10th, Nitra – Trnava, 222km
How it unfolded
The escape of the day was being formed quite long, as it went clear after 1,5h of racing. 11 riders managed to pull away and the break included Jose Amador (Manzana), Dieter Vanthourenhout (Marlux), Matej Mugerli (BMC-Amplatz), Markus Kopfauf (WSA-Greenlife), Oleksandr Polivoda (Kolss), Sergey Luchšenko (Astana), Andris Vosekalns (Rietumu Riga), Moriz Fussnegger (0711-Cycling), Timothy Rugg (Bike Aid), Juraj Lajcha (Slovakia) and Martin Mahdar (Dukla Banska Bystrica).
They had over 4 minutes in hand at one point and then, CCC Sprandi Polkowice-led peloton started to decrease the gap. There were few riders up front, who were less than a minute down in GC, so that move couldn’t be overlooked.
On the climb to Štember, Mugerli launched a strong attack and nobody could follow. All the escapees got caught with 30km remaining, but the BMC-Amplatz rider. With 20km to go he still could enjoy a 2:30 lead. Mugerli was able to hold off the chasers and claim the win, coming in 10 seconds before the opponents.
Jan Tratnik again showcased sprint skills in the end, taking 3rd place on the stage. His biggest threat, Josef Cerny (Elkov-Author) was 2nd, but Slovenian maintained the lead in GC and will defend it on tomorrow’s completely flat final stage (152km). Piotr Brożyna finished in the main pack, also retaining his white jersey.
We had a lot of luck in the end, because there was a crash just before the line. Me and Josef Cerny were able to avoid it and take 2nd and 3rd at the line. I’m very happy that I didn’t go down, as it was really important to arrive safely at the finish – Jan Tratnik explained. – Today our team was amazing again. What a warriors they are! I want to thank them for their help, they are very strong.