Mirco Maestri came close to the podium on the fourth day of Okolo Slovenska, which was resolved in a mass sprint with victory for Merlier (Soudal). EOLO KOMETA was very active with attempts throughout the day, Maestri himself scoring on the first mountain pass of the day while Javi Serrano tried a move in the final part.
It is difficult to control a race like the Tour of Slovakia, especially difficult to surprise Soudal QuickStep. EOLO KOMETA did not lose face or illusion, already at kilometre 2 with the mountain pass of Bojnický kopec where Maestri himself was outstanding, scoring maximum points but without being able to be part of the breakaway.
The breakaway of the day got away while the blue riders let the kilometres go by until the final part. Before the final lap through Nitra, Javi Serrano tried to surprise and break away from the main group. But this attempt had no margin or approval and they all arrived together at the last kilometre where Merlier won the sprint with Mirco Maestri taking a creditable fourth place.
“The objective was to be present in the first part of the race”, explained Mirco Maestri. “We were looking for a big group and that led me to win the mountains classification on the first pass. Then they controlled the breakaway well, the last mountain pass was climbed very fast but we came together for the last circuit. I was in a very good position and that allowed me to get fourth place, without being a pure sprinter I think it’s a great position”.
Biagio Conte: “It’s a good position thanks to the work of the whole team. Of course this position gives us morale for the remaining stage. The stage went smoothly, the breakaway was not dangerous and was even neutralised very early on, so Javi Serrano tried. However, everything came together in the final lap after the finish, for a sprint in which Maestri was great to finish fifth. Tomorrow we’ll keep trying”.