Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team | 3rd place for Niccoló Bonifazio at the opening stage on Tour of Slovenia
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3rd place for Niccoló Bonifazio at the opening stage on Tour of Slovenia

  |   Press

Murska Sobota, June 13th – Team Bahrain Merida fought for the green jersey at today’s flat stage in Prekmurje region. 159 km long opening stage started in Lendava in the wine region and finished in the city centre of Murska Sobota with a bunch sprint.

Race started as expected with the breakaway of 5 riders. Some 10 km to go peloton caught them and we have seen dangerous and fast sprint during last two laps through Murska Sobota city where we have unfortunately witnessed two crashes. TBM riders luckily were not involved in it. They were fighting for the best position for the sprinters in what they also succeeded. Bonifazio took 3rd place.  He missed only few feet for the green jersey since he was leader some 100 m before the finish line.

»There were many curves on the final circuit. We tried to stay united, but it was impossible, because a lot of riders wanted to stay at front. I struggled in the last 2 km to recover positions and I didn’t have legs strong enough in the final 100 m to go. Thanks to my teammates that did a perfect work for me to lead me out. I’m sorry for today, but I will try on the next days,” commented a bit unsatisfied Bonifazio who also add:” It was not so easy because it was heavy rain some 20 min during the race and the finish in Murska Sobota was very dangerous.”

“As many times on the first stage we have seen a lot of confusion but our team managed to stay together at the final part of the race and we have prepared our sprint. Great job did Božič and Bole and after that I have brought Bonifazio to the sprint. But unfortunately we have lost a bit of legs for the win,” said Matej Mohorič who did his job excellent again.

Photo credits: TBM