"We stayed in the bubble and stayed calm" - Dylan Groenewegen triumphs in frantic finale to opening stage of Tour of Slovenia 2024

For the fifth time in his career, Dylan Groenewegen took a stage win at the Tour of Slovenia on Wednesday afternoon. The Dutchman narrowly held off the in-form Alexander Kristoff in a thrilling fight for the line on stage 1.

"Always the first stage is really hectic, and also with rain in the first part of the race but in the end, we stayed in the bubble stayed calm and the team did a really good job," reflected the Dutch sprinter of Team Jayco AlUla in his post-stage interview, having taken his 72nd career win. "Luka Mezgec also crashed, but in the end he was there. The team was really strong today, the two TT guys came to help in the finish so that was really good, and we took the victory again here on day one so it was a really good day.”

With his win on the opening day, Groenewegen also moves into the overall race lead. If the Dutchman can survive a 2nd category climb midway through stage 2 there is a potential for another day in the race lead on Friday.

“We had a plan, we didn’t want to make any jokes so we started riding straight away with Alessandro De Marchi. Once the break was up the road, De Marchi did a really good job, keeping it always in a range between 3:00 and 4:00 minutes. So, everything worked out like how we planned," analyses Team Jayco AlUla's sports director, Peter Weening. "The only pity was with 20km that Mezgec crashed and he’s an important part of the chain for Dylan’s lead-out. Mezgec still came back up in the last kilometre and brought Elmar Reinders into a good position. Elmar then did a real good job putting Dylan in a perfect position with 300 metres to go. Kristoff came over the top of Dylan but Dylan was able to still win, so it was a very good victory.”

2024 Tour of Slovenia stage 1 results:

1 GROENEWEGEN Dylan Team Jayco-AlUla 20 04:35:00
2 KRISTOFF Alexander Uno-X Mobility 15 + 00
3 BAUHAUS Phil Bahrain Victorious 10 + 00
4 LONARDI Giovanni Team Polti Kometa 5 + 00
5 WELSFORD Sam BORA-hansgrohe 3 + 00
6 DAINESE Alberto Tudor Pro Cycling Team + 00
7 DUJARDIN Sandy TotalEnergies + 00
8 BRUSTENGA Marc Equipo Kern Pharma + 00
9 BLOUWE Louis Bingoal WB + 00
10 PENHOËT Paul Groupama-FDJ + 00

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