The national championship individual time trial took place yesterday in Karteljevo near Novo mesto. Jan Tratnik (Team Bahrain Victorious) won the title again on a 28.8 kilometers long route with some uphill and downhill sections. Thus, he will proudly wear the national champion jersey on ITTs one more year. His team mate, Matej Mohorič was second and Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates) finished third.
»I’m extremely happy to defend the title. It was a tight battle with Matej until the finish line but I somehow managed to squeeze out the needed power to secure the win. I had good legs, I feel my performance is back on track and I also liked the route. I actually really enjoyed the race.”
Next week on Friday, the 1st of July we mark the beginning of the most prestigious three-week race, the Tour de France. In these days, the teams are releasing their line-ups of riders who will fight for the yellow jersey. Team Bahrain Victorious just announced their line-up of riders who will race on the Tour de France, including Jan Tratnik.
“I’m very proud and grateful to my team, which selected me for the Tour de France. I didn’t know what the decision would be until the last minute. Nevertheless, after my Giro crash, I refocused all my energy and training on Tour, hoping I would be selected. I can say the preparation period was very successful, my wrist is ok now and I think I’m ready for Tour. It’s true, Tour is a race on the next level and you need time to prepare not just physically but also mentally. I didn’t have that much time to do the latter, but I still believe I made the needed shift in my mind and I’m ready for it. I’m very excited and can’t wait for it to start.”
The 28th edition of the Tour of Slovenia finished last Sunday in Novo mesto. In just five days, the peloton covered quite a substantial part of Slovenia ranging from Nova Gorica, Rogaška Slatina, Celje, Velika Planina, and Novo mesto. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) won the race, while Tratnik’s team mate Domen Novak (Team Bahrain Victorious) was third in the general classification. The most important goal for Jan was to get back to racing and help his team to achieve some good results.
»After more than a month I’m back at racing. Till the last minute the team and I weren’t really sure if I’m ready or not. Eventually, the pain in my wrist was not an issue anymore and we decided I can race the Tour of Slovenia. My main goal was to get back to the racing rhythm as soon as possible and help my team achieve some good results. I can say, I did a few mistakes during the race because after one month I didn’t know how good I am. All in all, I’m happy with my performance. As a team, we were very active during the race by starting a few attacks, which sometimes ended up unsuccessful. Nevertheless, we trained well and made the race more exciting. I’m happy I finished the race and improved my performance.
I saw a lot of fans throughout the race, which makes me very happy. It shows how cycling is growing in Slovenia. I would like to thank everybody for such warm support, especially my friends and family from Idrija, who did an amazing job organizing the “Syuk’s corner”. It was a little strange to race on the home roads because usually I ride there on the edge of the road, but this time we had the whole road for ourselves. It was a really special day that I will remember forever. I knew my friends and family are waiting for me at the “Syuk’s corner”, which got me to be a little emotional and I really wanted to ride there in the first position.
My energy is now focused on National Championship in the individual time trial. I hope I can recover well from the Tour of Slovenia and do a good race on Thursday.”