After loosing his Ötztaler title last week in Austria with a disappointing 23rd place finish, the former Tour de France professional Johnny Hoogerland, 39, added a new title to his growing list of amateur victories at gran fondo L’Etape Slovenia on Sunday.
While the Dutchman’s professional peers were racing in the three-week-long Vuelta a España grand tour, Hoogerland (RH77 Factory Team) soloed to victory on the 138 kilometers long gran fondo route in 3:24:56. Afterwards, he pulled on the yellow champion’s jersey and gave a Tour de France style victory salute as if he were on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. He defeated Slovenians Tadej Sadar (3:27:16) and self-confessed doper Igor Kopše (3:27:20).
Slovenian Eva Zorman (KK Pocinkovalnica Celje) convincingly claimed the L’Etape Slovenia women’s title and yellow jersey in 3:40:40, with over a six minute lead on Zuzana Bohacova (3:47:13). Špela Škrajnar earned the final podium spot in 3:59:50.
On the 70 kilometers long medio fondo route Matic Plaznik (1:36:16) won for the men and Barbara Koblar (1:54:11) for the women.
More than 1000 cyclists from 17 countries participated in the first L’Etape Slovenia by Tour de France. A second edition is now planned for 3 September 2023 in the city of Kranj.
Complete L’Etape Slovenia results HERE.
Photos: L’Etape Slovenia