The 22-year-old netted our tenth stage victory in five starts at the Tour of Slovakia.
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl continued its perfect start at the five-day race, twenty-four hours after Ethan Vernon smashed the Bratislava prologue. The Brit was again in the spotlight, this time in Trnava, where the shortest road stage of this edition concluded after three fast but calm hours in the saddle.
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl was the only team to pull behind the breakaway, and our guys did a great job, making sure of bringing back the last attacker some ten kilometers from the line. Josef Cerny and Zdenek Stybar kept the Wolfpack at the front of the peloton going under the flamme rouge, before Michael Mørkøv took over and did what he does best. The Dane provided a flawless lead-out for the yellow jersey, who measured the sprint perfectly, launching 150 meters from the line and holding off the other riders for his third victory of the season.
The eighth different rider of the team to lead a stage race this year, Ethan also took ten bonus seconds, increasing his lead in the general classification, but knows it will be hard to retain the yellow jersey after Thursday’s stage, when the peloton is set to face six classified climbs.
“It was the first day of my career in the leader’s jersey and I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome. We wanted a bunch sprint today and the guys made sure we’d have one. They were the only ones pulling and rode incredibly today. In the final kilometers the speed they pushed was so high that nobody could pass us, so this is their victory. I knew I was in good form after the prologue and I’m happy with this win. Keeping yellow tomorrow will be very difficult, but I will give my best”, Ethan said after the Wolfpack’s 44th victory of 2022.
Photo credit: ©Jan Melicher