Svein Tuft took his second time trial win of the season, posting the quickest time on the opening stage of Tour de Slovénie. The eight time Canadian National time trial champion covered the 8.8 kilometre course in Ljubljana, 6” quicker than teammate Brett Lancaster in second. It is the 20th win for ORICA-GreenEDGE this year.
“Everything went right today,” said Tuft. “I have good sensations from the start. I knew I was on a good ride.”
The flat fast course favoured the power rider. With two riders on the podium and four in the top six, ORICA-GreenEDGE dominated the day. Tuft averaged 53.2 kilometres per hour en route to his winning time of 9:55.
“The course suited us very well,” said Sport Director Matt Wilson. “Heppy [Michael Hepburn], Brett, Svein and Sebastian [Langeveld] are all specialists in sort of event, and they all did great rides.”
“The capital city of Ljubljana is beautiful,” said Tuft. “This was a nice course for going flat out. There wasn’t anything tricky about it. The roads were in good conditions and it was nice not to race in the rain.”
The short effort required minimal strategy. Tuft’s goal was to empty himself on the course.
“I went as hard as I could and hoped to hang on all the way to the finish,” Tuft said. “It was about not leaving anything in the tank.”
Tuft will start stage two in the race leader’s jersey. The first road stage is an undulating day featuring Cherry Mountain.
“We don’t have a chance here for the overall,” said Wilson. “We didn’t bring any guys who can contend with the big mountains. We don’t expect to have the jersey on the last day, but we’re happy to have it tomorrow.”