Dirka po Romandiji

Evo pa smo na polovici Dirke po Romandiji… Skorajda nisem verjel, da bo glede na sončne dneve prej res tako slabo – a vendar dež ni razočaral, ulivati je začelo na dan prologa. V Aiglu, na 4,8 km dolgem trasi nisem preveč tvegal, spodrsnilo mi je že iz startne rampe, a vendar sem dal vse od sebe. Včerajšnja prva etapa se je že končala na klanec, delali smo dobro, napadali, a ni bilo dovolj za selekcijo, itak smo bili vsi totalno zmrznjeni. Danes zjutraj smo se zbudili v sneg in na srečo so start prestavili vsaj v dolino (začeti bi morali z dolgim spustom), med etapo je snežilo, deževalo, pihalo, ni da ni! Zamrznjeni obrazi, prsti na rokah da ne veš če bremzaš ali prestavljaš, ampak – das ist radsport kot bi rekel moj dober prijatelj! Še vedno je upanje da bo jutri vreme malo boljše, ampak to rečejo vsak dan haha. Imamo dober tim, za vikend nas čaka veliko dela –  kraljevska etapa in potem kronometer v Lozani! Borba dalje!
Here we are at the half time of the Tour of Romandie. Because of the sun in the last few days, I almost didn’t believe that the bad weather will really come – but rain didn’t disappoint. It started raining heavily on the day of the prologue and in Aigle on 4,8km long race I slipped already on a starting gate, so I didn’t risk everything, but still gave my best. Yesterday’s stage ended uphill, we did a good job, also we attacked strongly but the profile didn’t allowed any selection and we were all frozen! Today we woke up in snow, luckily they moved the start on flat – we should have started descending. During the stage there was snow, rain, fog, wind, everything. We had frozen faces, haven’t felt fingers (Am I breaking or changing the gear?) We still hope that it will be better weather tomorrow, like every day haha. We have a good team, and for the weekend we will have a lot of work- queen stage and then the TT in Lausanne. Fighting on!
C-bbC1ZXkAISigDC-WWHceXoAAs1w0647367891.jpgPhoto: sirotti, Team Lotto NL JUmbo

Pais al Vasco, done

Pa je za nami dirka po Baskiji. Kaj naj rečem sem super vesel in zadovoljen s celotnim potekom dirke, kaj več bi pred štartom že težko pričakoval. Priznam še sam sem bil presenečen da mi je 4 etapo uspelo zmagati?!? Včeraj v zaključku žal nisem imel potrebne moči, da bi ostal s čisto prvimi.  Za danes pa sem bil že pred startom dirke odločen da bo moj dan. Od starta sem poskušal na polno na klanec, kar dolg za kronometer 6,5 km, ker sem vedel da na hitrem spustu lahko malo predahnem. Čeprav sem po polovici na koncu postavil peti čas, sem bil najhitrejši v drugem delu, ko je bilo gor in dol, kar mi zelo ustreza. Vseskozi sem se boril s samim seboj in dejstvom da moram obdržati hitrost. Na koncu je bilo dovolj za zmago, in tudi v skupni razvrstitvi sem napredoval na 5.mesto. konec dober, vse dobro. Tudi kot ekipa smo na tej dirki delali res dobro in na koncu mislim da smo lahko vsi zadovoljni z nastopi!  Nič, naslednja dirka Dirka po Romandiji, potem pa par dni počitka, juhej!  
So, the Tour of the Basque Country is done. I think we can be happy with our performances, for myself, and expectations before the race, I couldn’t ask more. Also I was surprised to manage to stay in front of the peloton and win the 4th stage. Yesterday, unfortunately, I just didn’t have the power to stay there all the way to the end. For today, I was decided even before the race that this will be my day. I wanted to start fast on the climb, because I knew that I will be able to take few second of rest on a fast descent. Even though I was 5th in the end after the first half of the stage, in the second part I was the fastest – the profile was up and down which suits me. I was fighting with myself all the time and with the fact that I have to keep the speed. It was enough for the win at the end and I managed to move up to 5th place in the GC.  Everything is well, what ends well. Next race is Tour of Romandie, and then few days of rest, yes! 😀 I think we worked really well as a team, and we can all be satisfied with our performances at the end! Well done!#samenwinnen
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Photos: steephill.tv

#Itzulia, stage 4

Za današnjo etapo nismo pričakovali nič posebnega, zelo hitro in težko smo začeli, prvo uro 48km/h, nekako sem hitro prevzel ritem dirke, proti koncu je bil težak strm klanec, in nekaj napadov mojih sotekmovalcev. Danes so bili vsi super, uspeli smo se obdržat spredaj in po gorskem cilju je sledil 14 km spust, k sreči po široki cesti. Zadnjih nekaj km je bil teren ponovno razgiban, uspelo nam je obdržati pozicijo pa sem poskusil tudi sam. Itak sem šel od prvega momenta z vsem kar sem imel, od začetka sem še upal pogledati nazaj in skoraj čutil sem peloton, kako mi diha za ovratnik. Pod znakom za zadnji km, nisem več pogledal nazaj, samo glava dol in ful gas; drek se bom pisal če me zdaj ujamejo sem si mislil, hudičevo so se vlekli zadnji metri in zelo boleče je bilo, a vendar mi je nekako ratalo, zmagali smo, zelo sem vesel in ponovno sem spoznal da v kolesarstvu tudi če nimaš najboljših nog tisti dan, je važno da imaš jajca. Pa še kulski rek je v angleščini, ki pravi da je mojstru spodletelo večkrat, kot je vajenec sploh poskusil – če ne probaš, ne veš.  Jutri Queen stage, na pomoč! 😀
For today’s stage we didn’t expect nothing special, it was hard and fast from the beginning, we went 48 km/h in the first hour, towards the end there was a steep, tough climb, there were several attacks of my team mates, the whole team did an awesome job today.  We managed to stay in front and then there was this long descent, luckily on a wide road. At the last few kilometers, the road was a bit up and down again, the attacks started, and we managed to stay in a good position, then I decided to try. I gave it all from the first moment, I could fell the breath of the peloton on my neck, then was this 1 K mark, I was too afraid to look back, just put the head down and push. It was painful as hell, and the last meters were longer then the whole race, but I made it home and we won! It showed once again that in cycling the legs aren’t always decisive, it is about the awareness that you might get caught, but you still go out there. The master has failed more times, than beginner even tried and I think that is what our team showed today! No guts, no glory! Tomorrow Queen stage ! Well done boys, thank you! 😀
 

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sammenwinnen!


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Vuelta al Pais Vasco

Oziroma Dirka po Baskiji. Saj bi napisal v njihovem jeziku pa si bom polomil prste; neka španska zasavščina 😀 Pa smo v deželi slabega vremena in strmih klancev. Včeraj je letalo na katerem sem bil že skoraj pristalo v Bilbau, potem pa obrnilo in pristalo v Barceloni. Murphyjev zakon je poskrbel, da smo šli v Barceloni dol z letala, kufri gor kufri dol- in nazaj, tako da na koncu smo prišli na prvotni cilj, a kakih 5 ur kasneje. Danes na treningu smo imeli dež in 7 stopinj, že dolgo nisem občutil tega, zadnji moment preden sem odpotoval z Majorke sem dal kapo ven iz kufra, slaba odločitev očitno. Upam da se uredi in nas vsaj vreme razveseli, klanci vem da nas ne bodo. Tu bom dirkal prvič in mi vse postavlja nov izziv, da spet vidim kam spadam, konkurenca je huda, kot na vseh dirkah najvišje ravni. Nimam kaj izgubiti in boril se bom vsak dan posebej! Seveda z enim očesom na zadnji dan, ko bo na sporedu težek kronometer, kako sem hiter bomo videli, tako ali tako pa moram do tja najprej prit! Številka 161, Primož! 😀 Vsak dan bo prenos tudi na Eurosportu, več informacij o dirki in tudi live stream-e najdete tukaj.
Or Tour of the Basque Country. Here we are in the land of bad weather and steep hills –already yesterday we couldn’t land in Bilbao, so the plane eventually returned to Barcelona for landing, yet in the end we managed to take off again and arrived in Bilbao safely, but off the schedule. Today on training it was raining and it was 7 degrees, quite a long time since has been so cold on the bike – when I was leaving home I took the hat out of the suitcase in the last minute – not the best decision I would say. Well I hope that the weather gets better, I know that climbs will stay the same – scary. 😀 I will race here for the first time so it is a challenge again, to see where we belong on the result board. There is nothing to lose and I believe that we will fight for it every day. Also there is a tough ITT on the last day of the race, on which I have my eye on but first we have to get there, day by day. You can find more info about the race here. Yellow Lotto NL Jumbo jersey and number 161, that’s me! 😀
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La Primavera

Nisem se še ohladil od prejšnje dirke, že je jutri na sporedu nova klasika, najdaljša dirka sploh Milano- Sanremo, ki jo Italijani raje imenujejo La Primavera. Kot da 291km samo po sebi ni dovolj, je pred tem še nekaj zaprte vožnje, tako da startamo zgodaj, da bomo v cilju še pred temo, okroglih 300 ni kar tak. Rana na prstu je že veliko bolje, jutri po dirki naj bi celo odstranili šive. Verjetno vsak kolesar sanja, da bi kdaj lahko nastopil na tako kultni dirki (ne zato da bi se 3 dni prej lahko basal z vsem kar mu pride pod roke- ali pač?), zato mi je v čast da sem na startu s št. 187 in vsekakor se bom boril. Drugače tukaj kjer trenutno prebivamo, na severu Milana ni najbolje za kolesarje, v avtih vsi nestrpni, v gozdičkih pa več kot gob je prodajalk ljubezni 🙂 več informacij o dirki tukaj, tudi če boste spremljali samo polovico dirke bo dolga, moja skoraj mesečna italijanska pustolovščina se počasi zaključuje, dost je bilo pasta, prossciuto, prosseco, ajde za krostato me ni treba glih prosit da jo pojem; pa naj bo Primavera zaenkrat lepo slovo od Italije. Amici di bici, arrivederci!


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 Haven’t cool down from Tirreno, yet tomorrow we start a new battle, the Italian classic from Milan to Sanremo, also known as La Primavera. The race is known as the longest, 291km plus a little extra before the official start, almost to 300,we start early to finish before it gets dark, haha. The cut on my finger is better and probably stiches will be removed after the race tomorrow. It is probably every cyclists dream to race on a legendary Primavera (not only because of the carboloading) so I am honored to be on the start with the bib number 187. Definitely we will fight! If you want to watch the race, you find it here, it will be long even if you watch only half! 😀 So my almost a month long Italian adventure is slowly going to an end, it was nice, but now it is enough of pasta, prossciuto, prosseco, well you don’t have to ask me twice for crostata;  and I hope that La Primavera will be a nice goodbye for now. Amici di bici, arrivederci.

Bloody sport.

Tirreno Adriatico dirka se ni  pričela čisto po mojih željah, v bistvu sem imel veliko smolo. Dirka se je začela z ekipnim kronometrom, peljali smo se na start ko je nekdo iz druge ekipe nenadoma odprl vrata, ker sem bil prvi sem priletel direktno noter, padel na levo ramo in koleno, kar naenkrat sem bil na tleh.  Na začetku sem mislil da mi ni nič, prstov nisem čutil kot vedno ko se udariš, ampak v naslednjem momentu začel močno močno krvaveti, poskusil ostati miren, čeprav sem skoraj odtrgal blazinico na levem prstancu. Časa za ambulanco ni bilo, štartal sem samo z povitim prstom, v glavi sem imel samo eno misel- preveč smo trenirali da bi mi en prstek pokvaril Tirreno. Po etapi sem dobil nekaj šivov, kljuvajočo bolečino v prstu, antibiotike in vse kar gre zraven. Dobr, noge so me vseeno bolele bolj kot odprti prst.
Včeraj na kraljevski etapi sem dal vse od sebe, pa 4km do cilja ugotovil da to danes ne bo za sam vrh, tako da sem nadaljeval v svojem ritmu, na koncu sem bil pa vseeno zadovoljen z rezultatom. Ekipno se je končalo dobro. Z enim očesom me je že skrbela današnja etapa, da jo le preživimo, dolga s sedmimi klanci eden za drugim, z naklonom 16-22 stopinj, juhu. Problem imam tudi z želodcem, zaradi antibiotikov me zafrkava prebava in 40 km do cilja nisem vedel če bom sploh zdržal do konca. V cilju se sploh nisem ustavil, ampak šus do busa na WC! Rezultatsko se je končalo super, imel sem super noge in užival v dirkanju. Jutri upam da se izognemo vsem težavam, kar nam zaenkrat uspeva, ekipa dela odlično in zadnji dan startam z nalogo čim hitreje prevoziti kronometer! Upam da se do takrat prebava zrihta, ker imam beli dres, haha.


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zadnjih 500 m
The race didn’t started well for me, I was really unlucky I would say. When we were riding towards the starting ramp, someone from other team’s car suddenly opened the door, and I crashed directly into it. I fell hard on left shoulder and knee. Firstly, I didn’t felt the finger and I thought it was OK, but in the next moment it started bleeding hard, but we tried to remain calm. It wasn’t enough time to get it checked by doctors, so I started with a bandage. I my mind there was only one thing – the boys and I trained too much that one finger will ruin our race. We raced OK, and I got some stiches after the finish.  Still my legs were more painful than my cut finger. Yesterday’s Queen stage we raced well, 4k to finish I realized that I don’t have the legs to win, so I continued in my own tempo, in the end result was good, I think we can be satisfied. With one eye I was already on today’s stage, I knew it will be tricky, 7 climbs with very steep gradient, the team survived very well.  I also have problems with my stomach, so I didn’t stop at the finish but just rode to the bus, directly to the toilet haha. Today we made a good result, tomorrow we will try to stay outta problems, and they Tirreno finishes with individual time trial… I hope my stomach problems will be over then, because I have white race suit haha.  #thankboys #sammenwinnen
 

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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Start!

Nič, pa smo spet tu, stres, tlačenje kolesa v kufer, štetje rokavčkov, ali pa je to nogavček, imam 2 leva? – nova sezona, nove priložnosti, nove izkušnje. Off season vedno prehitro mine 😀 Čez dva dni začenjamo dirko po Valenciji, Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana , da preverimo, potipamo pripravljenost, stestiramo teren. Občutki so dobri. Prva etapa je ekipni kronometer, prenos vseh pa je če se ne motim na Eurosportu…sam bom šel dan po dan, zbrano, previdnost je mati modrosti, pa bomo videli, držite pesti ! 😀
161215-240Photo: Team Lotto NL Jumbo
Well here we are again, packing the bike, counting  arm warmers, or is this a leg warmer?- new season, new opportunities, new experiences. Off season is always gone to fast 😀 In 2 days we start racing in Valencia,Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana to check our shape and test out the terrain. The feelings are good! First stage is a team time trial, all stages are covered on Eurosport if I am correct. I will take it day by day, focused and careful, and we will see, fingers crossed! 😀