Kasper Asgreen leads home a spectacular Soudal Quick-Step 1-2-3 on the final stage.
Rémi Cavagna became the fifth different Soudal Quick-Step rider in the last six years to win Okolo Slovenska, the event taking part in the country of our sponsor, Janom. It was the Frenchman’s first victory in a stage race, who joined Julian Alaphilippe, Yves Lampaert, Jannik Steimle and Josef Cerny, the other members of the Wolfpack who triumphed in Slovakia.
Cavagna built his success on the opening day using his strong time trialling skills and the strength of the squad, the solo victory that he took in Kosice and the comfortable margin that came with that result putting him in pole position to bring the yellow jersey home. Supported during the week by his Soudal Quick-Step teammates, Rémi defended his lead and was crowned overall winner in Puchov, where the 67th edition came to a conclusion.
“Winning a race is never easy, so to pull it off here with the help of this incredible squad and take my first GC victory feels really special. Taking the opening stage gave us a lot of confidence, and from that moment on, we just kept going. We had a superb week in the country of our sponsor, Janom, and I am delighted with this overall triumph and with our clean sweep”, said Rémi after his 12th success as a pro.
The last stage of Okolo Slovenska belonged to Kasper Asgreen, who took advantage of a technical final kilometer and zipped away with just 250 meters to go, winning by a margin of a few seconds. The podium in Puchov was rounded out by Bert Van Lerberghe and Tim Merlier, the points scored by the latter being enough to seal the points classification.
“We had the numbers in the finale, and when I rounded the final corner, Bert told me to go. We talked about it beforehand, but it was up to Bert and Tim to make the decision, and once I got the green light, I pushed without looking back. It’s been an amazing week here in Slovakia, five out of five stages is something we couldn’t have even dream about, so we are very happy, and personally, I’m glad I got to do this beautiful race”, added Kasper about the event where Soudal Quick-Step won also the team classification.
Photo credit: ©Jan Melicher