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Tour of Slovenie Discussion
We're in Slovenia for a 5 stage race in late July. As the PT GC men try to recover from their post-Tour hangover, puncheurs and time trialists will try to capitalize on the fatigue of those who went to France. We'll see a mix of PT and PCT guys here, since it's a PTHC race.

It's a puncher's race with a massive TT element, both of the individual and team variety. Or maybe it's the opposite. Riders will have to be fairly well rounded to come out on top here, depending on the selection the hills bring.

Last year, ISA's Sepulveda took the victory, but after his team's promotion, they chose not to return to this PTHC band. Before that, it was a C2HC categorized race. Therefore, we will see a new winner this year.


The first stage is a TTT, followed by hills, a sprint, a very long 49 km TT, and some more hills. Very significant gaps will likely be made in the TT km's, but can the time trialists hang on through the hills?

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/rak.png Kinoshita728366807777
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/kng.png Lutsenko738368767381
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bnm.png Bobridge698377747480
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/evo.png Lopez798271767478
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/cap.png Di Maggio658262736875
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/pol.png Izagirre748177737264
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/vlv.png Jensen708067777376
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gcn.png Dowsett658064746971
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/duo.png Gesink817978757765
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/vvg.png Gautier677963757176
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/kng.png Gidich757873777674
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/zal.png Siskevicius737865737275
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/vvg.png Kanerva647870756976
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gcn.png Landa697857706969
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/xr0.png Meurisse747767747478
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/rak.png Kratochvila767770706864

Some top PCT and PT puncheurs have made their way to Slovenia. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bnm.png Bobridge, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/kng.png Lutsenko, and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/rak.png Kinoshita should be the best on stages 2 and 5 on paper, though pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/evo.png Miguel Angel Lopez may question that, especially when the climbs are slightly longer.

In terms of GC, the bigger favorites might be those puncheurs who can also time trial well and have a strong team behind them. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bnm.png Bobridge is once again a great option in a TT, and thus might be the biggest favorite. Stage racer pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/duo.png Gesink might have something to say about that though, especially because his team is so strong in the TTT (though Bennelong is too). pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/pol.png Izagirre is in the same discussion for similar reasons.

Beyond these guys, most of the puncheurs are weak TTists, but not horrendous. With a 49 km ITT though, even small differences in strength could mean substantial gaps.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/duo.png Duolingo76.625
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/rpn.png Repsol - Netflix76.5
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gen.png Generali76
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/ubs.png Team UBS75.875
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/pol.png Polar75.125
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/map.png Mapei75
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/kng.png King Power74.5
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/min.png Minions73.75
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bnm.png Bennelong - Mitchelton73.25
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/des.png Desigual72.25
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/xr0.png Xero Racing71.5
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/yor.png cycleYorkshire71.25
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/rak.png Rakuten Pro Cycling71.25
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/zal.png DK - SVA Zalgiris70.75
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/vvg.png Valio - Viking Genetics70.625
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bak.png Bakkafrost68.125
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/fcj.png Fablok - Chocolate Jacques67.5
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/nca.png Nordstrom - CA Technologies67.125
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/evo.png Evonik - ELKO67
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/vlv.png Volvo acc. by Spotify67
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/cap.png Campari Asahi Procycling65.75
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/cap.png Campari Asahi Procycling65.75
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gcn.png GCN Racing65.375
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/and.png Andorra Cycling Project 65
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/t3a.png Pdium Ambition64.875

With the TTT being almost 40 km long and setting the stage for the GC fight, it's no surprise that many teams brought all their best time trialists here, both for the stage, and to support their leaders. All teams have 8 riders, so averages are consistent to team strength. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/duo.png Duolingo lead the way and will be in it for the GC, while pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gen.png Generali and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/rpn.png Repsol will mostly be going for the stage win. Most other teams with contenders are competitive, though it should be noted that the pure puncheurs could be at risk of being dropped by their stronger teammates, given the length of the course.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bnm.png Meyer72658076
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/min.png Kalaba74727979
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/t3a.png Aberasturi74717978
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/cap.png Lay73667981
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/evo.png Liepins73687879
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/rak.png Kuboki73747777
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/fcj.png Cohen73697776
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/evo.png Dzamastagic78727678
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/t3a.png Matthews72677676

We can't forget about pan flat stage 3, although it seems like most teams did. Given the variety of skill-sets needed for GC ambitions, most team left the sprinters at home, leading to a very weak field. Anyone on this list could be in contention for a win. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/evo.png Evonik and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/t3a.png Podium Ambition have the closest thing to trains with two sprinters on this list.

Time Trialists
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/rpn.png Zmorka82756166
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/map.png Fiedler82745967
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/yor.png Coppel81756474
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/rpn.png Kittel81705564
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gcn.png Sergent80746569
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/duo.png Howson80745965
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/rpn.png Gonzalez Salas80765760
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/pol.png Viennet80755467
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/des.png Fraile79767672
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/kng.png Brändle79737671
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/t3a.png Cataford79757270
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/kng.png Viviani79776066
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/pol.png Mullen79746270
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/fcj.png Goldstein79725561

The TT is mostly flat and very long, though there are a couple of bumps along the way, including in the run up to the finish line. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/yor.png Coppel, along with more stage racer types like pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/des.png Fraile and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/kng.png Brandle will be trying to capitalize on those bumps and potentially make a case for GC spots. Otherwise, guys like pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/rpn.png Zmorka and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/map.png Fiedler should battle for the victory. Anything could happen depending on how they feel that day though, and the field is very deep.

It should be some exciting racing in Slovenia. What teams can start off right in the TTT? Find out tomorrow!
A race that tempted us very much and because of Chesire it was our third selection in the PTHC bands, but unfortunately we didn't get a spot here. Could have been a great race for a rider like Stake Laengen. Interesting to see the top TTers at the start here, considering we have the Chrono Herbiers at the same time. Some very good TTers present here, so I guess that's good news for our scoring potential in Herbiers at least.

Should be a good race to follow, with perhaps Gesink, Bobridge and Izagirre as the biggest favourites.
Sent a pretty weak squad here, just hoping for some GC points from Siskevicius and Zamri. sike Krizalid will definitely take a stage here, less than 100 points would spell gulag for the squad
Manager of the greatest team in the world
DK Žalgiris
No Claeys, because the ITT would hurt him anyway. Would rather focus on a strong TTT and a good result from JvR and/or Haga. Kalaba for the sprint turns out to be a pretty plausible scoring opportunity.
Manager of Minions
I feel like i took a big risk with my selection here.
Sending Lopez despite being very prone to lose a lot of time in the ttt might fire back. But with the lack of TT skill amongst most puncheurs, the nice clash with the Chrono race and another world class puncheur to cover some other hilly races on his own, i felt like i should give this one a shot.

Tvetcov as our second man in command could actually deliver a nice secondary result as well with pretty solid TT skills on top of a solid hill stat.

I did try to focus on adding as much fire power for the two hilly stages as possible so i have sent Stoltz and Dzamastagic to start making the race hard early and then a batallion of four 75HI+, 75MO+ riders to make the race as fast as possible over the hills before the Lopez attacks. We need time gaps and we need big ones. And we cant afford to get screwed by cautious race juries not wanting to award obvious gaps. I really hope that my team will put down the hammer and not just sit for a calm ride along in the peleton...

And to go even more risky we decided that we might as well weaken our TTT team further by sending Liepins (59TT) along for the ride for a single stage. Stoltz->Dzama->Liepins might actually be a pretty solid sprint train and the idea was to luck into a weak sprinter startlist and hopefully claim a podium. Seeing the startlist i nearly regret sending Liepins because Dzamastagic might have been traited as a proper sprinter if it wasnt for him for once because the stat inflation of the sprint stat pushes the AI to ignore him during sprint preparation most of the time if he doesnt ride as a leadout.

That said the TTT table looks so weird. Volvo, GCN, Andorra and Pdium Gifs below us and Campari even with two weaker lineups - thats sth. Pfft
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Huge risks involved for any team not fielding Gesink, Bobridge or Izaguirre here. These hilly stages will produce gaps, but potentially only after the first 20odd riders.

If this race was an active choice and not just a byproduct of the HC bands, I do think knockout might be right that this was too big of a gamble for MAL.
Rooting for Kalaba to win a stage. Questions have to be asked to the organization though if the only Slovenian race is that unattractive to local teams that neither Slovenian team thinks it's reasonable to participate even with serious nationality bias in both. How about a Triglav mountain finish next year? Cool
Very much looking forward to this one.

Our last race goal of the season. It's pretty much the sort of event we usually thrive in. Gesink has a good chance here, let's see what the performances give us. Bobridge and Izagirre the guys to look out for.

Good luck everyone and thanks for the preview bbl!
Manager of pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/duo.png Duolingo pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/duo.png
Semi-hard hill stages and long TT's has generally been favorable for Gallopin. The TTT is uncomfortably long though and is probably going to hold him back somewhat. Will be hard to replicate the top 10 he got in Norway, but I hope he can get in the vicinity of that.

Would also be nice to see us active in breakaways. Been a while since we fought for KoM points, but perhaps this is an opportunity for Vichot to try and target that jersey.

Hopefully the race judges will closely monitor any cooperation between the two Campari teams. Otherwise it's going to be a difficult race for us and everyone else Pfft

Thanks for the preview!
Well, huge race for us in the title fight. I think this race will determine whether we can actually fight Farfecht. Such a huge difference between a possible GC win if Zmorka survives the final stage and a "0-pointer" if he doesn't.

Don't care whether we win or not the TTT, more important is that if we lose it, it's by a few seconds only, enough for Zmorka to take the lead after the ITT and then hope he has the legs of the hilly stage in Jelajah or Norway, though they weren't that hard iirc, the idea of him being race leader and being in prime positioning in the bunch is what probably counts most for that stage.

As always, Dunbar is our "hidden weapon", i assume that if Zmorka fails in the final stage, Dunbar will be able to pick up a great GC result, though i'm afraid he might be forced into a domestique for the Ukranian. We'll see
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cio93 wrote:
If this race was an active choice and not just a byproduct of the HC bands, I do think knockout might be right that this was too big of a gamble for MAL.

This race certainly wasnt a priority during bands selection but it was the same band as Japan, Jurmala and Cheshire. A hilly classic for Skujins, a flat home classic for Van Stayen and a cobbled stage race for Blythe made this band pretty much a lock in my planning.

In the end i had to pick between throwing this race and sending MAL here. Possible Alternatives for Lopez would have been:
- double leadership with skujins/Lopez in more classics
- freeing up enough race days to send Lopez to Suisse/Dauphine
- freeing up enough race days to send Lopez to a GT (incl. Removing Portugal)
- swap Lopez & Skujins in grand duche & the hilly triple header race and figure sth out for Skujins

None of those are really that intriguing to me after experimenting a lot with possible combinations of schedules while depending on how the race goes he has a solid shot at a stage win on both hilly stages which could lead to a good result in the points classification too and i think sth like a 10th place in GC is also very much possible if we get selective racing on the hills (dont forget that Lopez has better time trialling skills than many other puncheurs). If we get a combination of some of those things, this could be worth it. Im sure i could find a better MAL scoring schedule but this looked like the best MAL/Skujins/Van Stayen combined schedule to me. Though obviously a big gamble and maybe i should have rather taken save points from two hilly classics alongside Skujins.
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The race should produce some good racing, however I don't expect us to get a single point from it, our team here is way too weak to amount to anything outside of a potential breakaway appaerance here or there.
Croatia14 wrote:
Rooting for Kalaba to win a stage. Questions have to be asked to the organization though if the only Slovenian race is that unattractive to local teams that neither Slovenian team thinks it's reasonable to participate even with serious nationality bias in both. How about a Triglav mountain finish next year? Cool

I will continue to boycott this phony french race whenever I can :lol:

Looking forward to your reports bbl Smile


"I am a cyclist, I may not be the best, but that is what I strive to be. I may never get there, but I will never quit trying." - Tadej PogaÄŤar
Brändle should theoretically be able to fight for the win in this race, but I guess with Gesink here this might become difficult. Other than that Gidich and Lutsenko are here also with some ambitions of their own. Gidich should be a favorite for the white jersey. I sent Lutsenko here because most teams with strong punchers are not in this band I believe. However looking at the startlist there is still a strong competition.

Thanks for the preview bbl, looking forward to the reports!
Nice to see that the race starts tomorrow, would be nice if we could drop many of the better tt guys already and i would love an attack over the penultimate climb
A Big Thank You To All MG Reporters!
And To All Who Organize Something On Daily As Well!

Good start for the team! Unlucky with Lutsenko losing a second but I guess it won’t matter much and Gidich and Brändle were more attentive. So all my GC guys are in striking distance.

Gesink already in the driver seat, congrats Gustav!
Duolingo are beasts in TTTs, no shame in losing to them by three seconds. Excellent positioning going into the next stages.
Manager of Minions
Pretty meh TTT, about par for expectations I suppose. Hope we can make our own race here and be active and creative or I sense something not far above a 0-pointer on the cards. Should have brought Houle!
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Man, I love TTTs Grin

I reckon I was pretty upset seeing our train set out as first starter, but the result pretty much obliterated that irrelevant fact.

Thanks for the report bbl. Thanks as well Marco and Bikex!
Manager of pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/duo.png Duolingo pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/duo.png
Far from the best TTT we've done, but not so bad that Gallopin is completely out of the top 10-reckoning.

Congrats to Gustavovskiy!
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