Waterford’s Sam Bennett took his second stage win in Slovenia by winning the fourth stage and the overall sprint classification, as his team mate Rafal Majka secured the overall Tour of Slovenia victory.
With a 3rd stage win in the 4-stage race as well as the overall victory of Majka, Sam Bennett’s BORA – hansgrohe team dominated in Slovenia as the German team from Raubling, made it 7 wins (Rund um Köln, Tour de Suisse and Tour of Slovenia) in just one week.
The 160 kilometre fourth stage between Rogaska Slatina and Novo Mesto was marked by just one minor King of the Mountains climb and two intermediate sprints. For BORA – hansgrohe it was all about defending Majka’s overall lead, but the team also wanted to fight for a third stage win with sprinter Sam Bennett.
A leading group went up the road early in the stage and the 6 escapees increased their gap to about 5 Minutes. Bennett’s team was controlling the race in the peloton, and when the other sprinter teams started to help pull in the breakaway riders, the gap began to come down gradually.
Over the last 15 kilometres all breakaway riders were caught, and due to the tricky last kilometre of the stage, the lead-out trains formed early and battled for the best positions.
BORA – hansgrohe came to the front late, as Rudi Selig moved up with Sam Bennett at the perfect time. Bennett opened the sprint from the front and secured his 2nd stage win. Bennett and Majka also won the sprint and the mountains classification of the race.
Sam Bennett summed up his team’s success over the four-stage race by saying:
“We worked the whole day for the jersey of Rafa, therefore I didn’t have a lot of guys for the sprint today. But Rudi brought us up in the perfect moment, we took the outside on the penultimate corner, to be inside on the last one. On the bridge, we were in front and I did let a little gap to come with full speed out of his slipstream on the last 200m. We can be very proud of the team this week, it was a perfect performance from all of us!”