Successful start of the season

Tratnik began the season in style, impressing at the first one-day race in Murcia by securing an excellent 2nd place. During the climb before the finish, Jan attacked from a smaller group of riders and started to close the gap to the race leader, O’Connor (Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale Team), who crossed the finish line less than a minute before him. The classic Jean with many gravel sections followed, on which Oier Lazkano (Movistar Team) won. Tratnik finished in third place. The captain of the Bees’ team experienced technical problems, which led to a change in tactics during the race. Syuk took advantage of this situation.

“What can I say. A great start to the season. Even before I traveled to the first races, I knew I was well prepared because the numbers in trainings were outstanding. I can also say that it was not a plan, but the form came automatically. I trained without overdoing it, which makes me even happier because I avoided overtraining. Both one-day races, Murcia and Jean, were very challenging. I gave my best and there was no more to be done, especially on Jean where Wout’s technical problems changed the tactics a little in the finish. We mitigated the damage and still managed to reach the podium.”

The first stage race of the season was Volta Algarve in Portugal. Tratnik had the chance to compete for a high ranking in the general classification. The race was very exciting, with climbs, a time trial, and sprint finishes, providing plenty of opportunities for success. Syuk performed exceptionally well and finished the race in third place overall, behind the winner Remco Evenepoel (Soudal – Quick Step) and Daniel Martinez (BORA – hansgrohe).

“At the Algarve race, the team allowed me to aim for a good position in the general classification. No one expected anything, not even myself, as it has been several years since I raced for the general classification. But after the second stage, I saw that I could reach high. The key was the time trial stage, where there was no room for mistakes and loss of time. I probably rode one of the best time trials of my career. Maybe 10th place isn’t considered exactly a great result, but I didn’t lose much in seconds to 5th place. This also gave me a lot of motivation to keep the 3rd place and to try to weaken the other teams with attacks in the last stage. Wout sacrificed himself and did an outstanding job putting the other teams under pressure with his attack. Peloton had to work really hard to catch the breakaway. On the last hill, everything depended on me. Get to the finish line as fast as possible. Sepp did a great job of staying with me and covering attacks from other riders. For the last 300m, I did not have the legs to respond to the attack of Remco and Martinez. I had a battle with myself to the finish line.

What can I say, it is an outstanding start to the new season. When I got the chance to be a leader, I took it and I’m glad the team gave me that chance. Thanks for all the help to my teammates who supported me and believed in me. Now there will be a few days of rest and we will see you again in Belgium soon.”

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