sum up Volta ao Algarve

Resda je pred nami že skorajda nov vikend, a vseeno se bom še enkrat ozrl na prejšnjega. Iz dirke po Algarve smo prinesli rumeno majico. Sam začetek dirke, prva etapa, ki je bila ravninska je zame pomenila samo preživeti – izogniti se težavam in ne izgubiti časa, kar mi je tudi uspelo. že tam je naš sprinterski vlak izvlekel dober rezultat. Druga etapa, s ciljem na klanec, na Alto di Foia, ki ga poznam že od lani pa mi je predstavljala večji izziv. Ob vznožju klanca nas je ostalo za skupinico, vedno bližje ciljni črti smo šli, manj nas je bilo. Poizkusal sem dirkati agresivno. Na koncu sva ostala sama z Danom Martinom, in za zmago nam je zmanjkal zgolj kak meter, a na koncu koncev je vsaka stvar za nekaj dobra. Tretja etapa- posamični kronometer. Ozka cesta, tlakovci, veter, a sem nekako verjel da sem še vedno lahko hiter. Nagrada je bila rumena majica vodilnega, čeprav sem se zavedal da nas čakata še 2 peklenska dneva. Med najdaljšo, četrto etapo so fantje poskrbeli da nisem imel nikakršnih skrbi, ekipa je delovala odlično. Netipično za etapno dirko, a vendar, organizatorji so kraljevsko etapo pustili za konec, profil je kazal 2x čez Malhao in ponavadi se je tukaj odločila dirka. Tega klanca sem se že pred dirko veselil in razmišljal samozavestno, saj me je lani preveč presenetil, da bi pozabil – na koncu je strm, kot da greš v nebesa. Pred Kwiatkovskim sem imel 22 sec prednosti in pričakovali smo napad. Moj cilj je bil da se ga držim kot klop, kar mi je tudi uspelo in glej ga zlomka ubranili smo majico! Ampak vse to je že mimo, in zrem naprej na nove dirke, čaka me italijanski trojček : Strade Bianche, Tirreno – Adriatico in Milan – Sanremo. Zahvalil bi se ekipi in vsem za navijanje in lepa sporočila! In kot bi rekli moji prijatelji skakalci – samo auf! 😀
Video- behind the scenes 😛
zadnjih 10 km 5.etapa
It is true that is almost a new weekend in front of us, but still I will look back one more time.  We took the yellow jersey in the Tour of Algarve. The start of the race was flat, I only had to “survive”, stayed outta problems, not to lose time, which I managed to do. Our sprint train got a good result already there! Second stage ended with a climb, Alto di Foia, which I knew from last year. I saw it as a big challenge. At the beginning of the climb the peloton was smaller and the more we were closer to the finish line, the less we were in the group. I tried to ride agresivelly. In the end we stayed alone with Dan Martin. I lost a win for a meter or so, but didn’t give up. Third stage was an ITT – narrow roads, cobblestones, strong wind, but still I had belief in myself that I can go fast. We were awarded with the leader’s jersey, yet I knew there are two brutal days in front of us. During the fourth, longest stage of the race, the team again worked excellent, and our guys had an eye on me all the time.  Not usual for the stage race, the organizers kept the Queen stage for the last day, usually that’s where the race was decided. 2 times over Malhao, we were expecting the attack from Sky, my goal was to stick with Kwiatkowski all the time and I managed to do that. We defended the jersey!!  Now it’s time to look in the future, I have an Italian triple in front of me : Strade Bianche, Tirreno- Adriatico and Milan- Sanremo.  Here I would like to thank once again to the team and to everyone for congrats and nice messages! Cheers!!


Photos: Joao Fonseca

Volta ao Algarve

Leto pa res hitro mine, lansko leto sem se ob takem času tu na Portugalskem čudil prekrasni obali, letos se spet! Lani je bilo malo drugače, zame prva evropska dirka, ki sem jo startal bolj radovedno, sicer pa se je razpletlo odlično, 3.mesto in 5.generalno. Ko se spominjam kako lepo je tu v Algarve-ju, pa se spominjam tudi slabih cest, luknja pri luknji in pa grozno strmega klanca, se ga več ne bojim. Dobro, bolj strmo kot prejšnji teden v Valencii skoraj ne more biti- Dirka se začne jutri z ravninsko etapo, potem gorska, posamični kronometer, ravninska in gorska za konec, dvakrat na Malhao.  Prvič bom lahko popeljal tudi novi dres državnega prvaka v vožnji na čas. Danes smo se bolj u izi zapeljali, si ogledali cilj jutrišnje etape, jutri delamo za šprinterje! Etape naj bi se vsak dan v živo prenašale tudi na Eurosportu po prenosu kolesarske dirke iz Andaluzije (Ruta del Sol), okoli 17:00 CET.  Spremljajte nas, navijajte! 😀 Več informacij o dirki tukaj.
 Time flies, last year at the same time I was here in Portugal, impressed by the beauty of nature, and this year everything is the same.  Last year was a bit different, it was my first European race in world tour, and I was curious, anyway it turned out great, with 3rd place and 5th in the GC.  When I am thinking about this stunning coast here in Algarve, I also remember roads with lots of holes and bumps and a very steep climb. Well, I hardly believe that it can be steeper than last week in Valencia… the race starts tomorrow with a flat stage, second one is hilly and third is individual time trial. It ends Sunday, when we pass the Malhao climb twice. Today we did an easy recon ride and checked the finish of first stage, which is very important for us, because we will work hard tomorrow for the sprinters!! Live coverage is promised, every day on Eurosport, after the Ruta de Sol. Looking forward to race with the team!! More info about the race here. 


Naravna čudesa in podobca na plaži…:D

Valenciana

Prva dirka v sezoni 2017 je za mano. Vedno je dobro malo pogledati nazaj, da naprej odneseš pomembne lekcije… na splošno sem zadovoljen, čeprav je bil sam start zame zelo težak. Ko človek mogoče že misli da je kronometrist, pa ima slab dan in zelo hitro ostane zadaj, meja med odličnim in slabšim je v kolesarstvu pač zelo tanka, začeli smo premočno zame, imel sem slab dan in preprosto nisem mogel slediti in opraviti svoje naloge. V drugi etapi sem se takoj počutil bolje, bolj domače, odločen sem pa bil, da se preizkusim ter da tudi sebi dokažem, da je bil zgolj slab dan. Čeprav je bila težka, že pred zadnjima dvema klancema smo šli preko treh kategoriziranih, na koncu nas je ostalo za eno grupo, Martin se nam je odpeljal, v spustu smo malce zaspali, nihče ni želel preveč tvegati zaradi mokre ceste. Vseeno smo zadovoljni s tretjim mestom. Tretja etapa, specifična za ta čas, z orkanskim vetrom, ki ga ne maram, držali smo se bolj v ozadju, ker nismo imeli ambicij v generalni razvrstitvi, nismo preveč riskirali in ko se je peloton raztrgal, sem tam tudi ostal 😀 Pred četrto, kraljevsko etapo, sploh nisem vedel kaj naj pričakujem, malo me je bilo strah zadnjega klanca, saj so vsi govorili kako zelo strm je (21). cel dan je bilo težko, z nekaj sreče se nas je večina Lotto obdržalo v prvi grupi, na koncu pa smo poskusili narediti vse kar je v naši moči, navsezadnje smo trenirali dobro. Sicer zamudili skok Quintane, ampak končni rezultat je OK, Steven na osmem in sam na petem mestu. Zadnji 3je kilometri so tako strmi da so se vlekli kot večnost, videl nisem več ničesar, ker sem si prehladil poškodovano oko. Naslednji dan je bil veter še hujši. Po dolgem čakanju so etapo skrajšali zgolj na 5 krogov po Valencii, bolj ali manj promenada po mestu, kjer smo dali prostor šprinterjem. Hvala celotni ekipi, za trud skozi vsako etapo posebej. Nič, naslednji teden, Dirka po Algarveju, se pričakuje ponovno ogromno dobrih tekmovalcev kot jih je bilo tukaj, se že veselim, izziv pa mi predstavlja tudi posamični kronometer.
 Well first race of 2017 is done. It’s always good to look back, so you can take the important lessons with you. In general I’m satisfied with my performances, although the start was really hard. The line between excellent and bad is very thin in time trial, we kicked off too hard for me, i had a bad day and i was dropped just like that. I couldn’t follow and couldn’t do my job properly.  Second stage was tough, I was decided to improve my performance, and my team really helped me to get there. In the end there was a small group, we lost Martin on the descent, I guess no one wanted to risk too much due to a wet road.  Third stage was very windy, and as peloton fall apart we stayed behind, that’s where I stayed to the finish.  Before 4th, Queen stage I really didn’t knew what to expect, and I was a bit afraid of the final climb because everyone told me it was so steep. Team worked really well and that was enough for Steven`s 8th and my 5th place at the end. We missed attack from Quintana, but the final result is OK. The next day, wind was even stronger, so after a long waiting the stage was shortened only to final laps in the city center of Valencia, the stage was reserved for sprinters.
Big thanks to the boys and whole Team Lotto NL Jumbo, for trying hard every step of the way and making it possible! #sammenwinnen
The next week already a new race, Tour of Algarve, again a lot of world class riders like here, Im already looking forward to it.
valenciaPhotos: Team Lotto NL Jumbo.com
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