Sunday, 3 October 2021

2021 CRO Race: Stephen Williams Named Overall Winner, Tim van Dijke Wins 6th Stage

October 3, 2021 - Briton Stephen Williams, a member of the Bahrain Victorious team, is the winner of the 2021 CRO Race which ended on Sunday.

In the last, sixth stage on the roads of Zagreb County and the capital, from Samobor to Zagreb (157.5 kilometers), Williams took second place behind the Dutchman Tim van Dijke (Jumbo-Visma) and thus defended the leader's red shirt in the overall standings, which he took over with a stage victory in Opatija on Saturday, reports HRT.

Up to six kilometers before the finish, Williams could ride comfortably in the main group, but after entering the last lap in the center of Zagreb, Van Dijke and Norwegian Markus Hoelgaard, second and third in the overall standings, had attacked, so Williams had to react. 

The leading trio in the overall standings took the first three positions in the last stage, and in the final sprint in front of the Croatian National Theater, Van Dijke was faster than Williams, while Hoelgaard finished third with five seconds ahead of the peloton led by Australian Kaden Groves (Team Bikeexchange).

Williams eventually reached the biggest victory of his career, having won only one weaker stage race in France so far (Ronde de l'Isard 2018), with a 13-second lead over second-placed Van Dijke and 17 seconds ahead of third-placed Hoelgaard.

Apart from the stage victory in Zagreb and the second place in the overall standings, Van Dijke is also the winner of the competition for the best young cyclists and won the white T-shirt.

The blue T-shirt intended for the best sprinter was worn by the Dutchman Olav Kooij (Jumbo-Visma), while the green T-shirt for the best climber was won by the British Simon Yates (Team Bikeexchange).

Bravo for another world-class cycling event!

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Saturday, 2 October 2021

CRO Race 5th Stage: Stephen Williams Wins from Rabac to Opatija

October 2, 2021 - Briton Stephen Williams, a member of the Bahrain Victorious team, won the CRO Race 5th stage (137.5-kilometers) from Rabac to Opatija and also took the lead in the overall standings.

Williams passed the finish line with a 10-second lead over 2nd-placed Norwegian Markus Hoelgaard (Uno-X) and 3rd-placed Dutchman Mick van Dijke (Jumbo-Visma), who led a group of 14 riders, reports HRT.

The best-placed Croatian cyclist was Fran Miholjević (Cycling Team Friuli) in 20th place, 4:24 minutes behind the winner. Josip Rumac (ANS Androni Giocatolli Sidermec) took 28th place, 4:31 minutes behind.

The shortest stage of this year's CRO Race saw Austrian Hermann Pernsteiner (Bahrain Victorious) and the Spaniard Oier Lazkano (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) take the lead from the start. As a result, the two separated from the leading group and were the first to reach the mountain finish in Gračišće, and the Austrian won the maximum number of points.

This was followed by a passing goal in Pazin, where again Pernsteiner was first and Lazkano second. The two of them had a 1:45 minute advantage over Spaniard Xabier Azparren (Euskaltel Euskadi) at the time, while the peloton was 3:30 minutes behind.

One of the biggest favorites for the overall victory, Simon Yates (Team Bikeexchange), accompanied by his compatriot Stephen Williams, joined the action on the most challenging ascent of the entire race and was the first to reach the top of Učka. Yates and Williams were the first on the mountain goal in Kastav, and they picked up bonus seconds on the passing goal in Viškovo.

On the way from Viškovo to Rijeka, Yates and Williams were led by Austrian Riccardo Zoidl (Felbermayr Simplon Wels), and the trio managed to create a half-minute advantage over a group of about 15 cyclists.

In both Viškovo and Rijeka, Williams was the first at the passing goals ahead of Yates and Zoidl, and the trio used their indecision in the second group on the way from Rijeka to Opatija and increased their advantage to almost a minute.

A group of 15 managed to reduce the gap to 30 seconds at the entrance to Opatija. Since the fatigue of Yates and Zoidl was more visible in the last 10 kilometers, the difference soon dropped to 20 seconds, so in the final round, Williams decided to go for a stage victory with a solo run, in which he succeeded. Yates and Zoidl, on the other hand, were caught a kilometer before the finish.

In the final stage, Yates will still wear a green T-shirt for the best sprinter, Dutchman Olav Kooij (Jumbo-Visma) will keep the blue T-shirt, and his compatriot and teammate Van Dijke will wear a white T-shirt for the best young cyclist.

Ahead of the final 6th stage from Samobor to Zagreb on Sunday (157.5-kilometers), Williams has an 11-second lead over 2nd-placed Van Dijke and 12 seconds ahead of 3rd-placed Hoelgaard.

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Friday, 1 October 2021

CRO Race 4th Stage: Olav Kooij Wins from Zadar to Crikvenica

October 1, 2021 - Dutchman Olav Kooij, a member of Jumbo-Visma, won the CRO Race 4th stage from Zadar to Crikvenica (197 kilometers), while Norwegian Anders Skaarseth (Uno-X) is the new leader in the overall standings.

Dutchman Olav Kooij, a member of the Jumbo-Visma team, won the CRO Race 4th stage from Zadar to Crikvenica. In 2nd was Australian cyclist Kaden Groves, and 3rd Croatian rider Josip Rumac (Androni Giocattoli), reports HRT.

After a massive fall that happened about a kilometer before the finish line, Rumac found himself in a great position, leading the race with very few cyclists behind him. However, the Croatian cyclist did not manage to last until the end and was overtaken by Kooij and Groves in the final meters.

This is the second stage victory for Kooij, who confirmed himself as the best sprinter at this year's CRO Race in Crikvenica. He also celebrated on Wednesday in Otočac after the second stage.

Skaarseth took the lead in the overall standings thanks to a three-second bonus he won during his first passing goal in Crikvenica. With that, he equaled the leading Belgian Milan Menten (Bingoal) in terms of time, but due to better placements in the stages, he took over the red shirt. Rumac jumped to fourth place in the overall standings with just eight seconds behind Skaartseth.

Very soon after the start of the stage, a group of seven cyclists was formed with Poles Marceli Boguslawski (HRE Mazowsze Serce Polski) and Szymon Rekita (Voster ATS Team), German Tom Lindner (P&S Metalltechnik), Slovenian Žiga Horvat (Adria Mobil), Italian Nicolo Buratti ( Friuli), Austrian Felix Ritzinger (WSA KTM Graz) and Australian Felix James Meo (Vorarlberg). The advantage of the leading six grew to almost six minutes, and on the first ascent of the day on Ćaćići, Rekita stood out and won the mountain goal ahead of Lindner and Ritzinger.

Rekita's solo ride ended 67 kilometers before the finish line when he was reached by the rest of the group. As the advantage over the peloton was rapidly decreasing, about 50 kilometers before the finish it, new attacks followed. The first was Lindner, who therefore won the first passing goal in Senj, then he was joined by Boguslawski, who was the fastest at the second passing goal in Novi Vinodolski.

Skaarseth won important bonus seconds ahead of compatriot and teammate Torstein Train, while Dutchman Mick van Dijke (Jumbo-Visma) was third.

During the final lap around Crikvenica, cyclists have the second ascent of the day to Dramalj, which Traen passed first, thus increasing the advantage in the fight for the green jersey they will wear in the fifth stage, which is scheduled for Saturday from Rabac to Opatija (137.5 kilometers).

CRO Race remaining stages:

October 2, 5th stage: Rabac / Labin - Opatija (137.5 km)

October 3, 6th stage: Samobor - Zagreb (156.5 km)

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Thursday, 30 September 2021

CRO Race 3rd Stage: Milan Menten Wins from Primošten to Makarska

September 30, 2021 - Belgian cyclist Milan Menten, a Bingoal Pauwels Saucers WB team member, won the CRO Race 3rd stage from Primošten to Makarska (167 kilometers) and also took the lead in the overall standings.

In the final meters, Menten overtook Dutchman Mick van Dijk (Jumbo-Visma), and 3rd place was taken by Norwegian Anders Skaarseth (Uno-X). At the same time, excellent placement was achieved by the Croatian cyclist Josip Rumac (Androni Giocattoli), who remained one step closer to the podium in fourth place, reports HRT.

With a stage victory, Menten also took the lead in the overall standings with three seconds ahead of Skaarset, and four ahead of third-placed Van Dijk.

After a nervous start to the stage due to a very early first passing goal in Rogoznica, just eight kilometers after the beginning, which was won by Norwegian Anders Skaarseth (Uno-X), an escape was formed in which five cyclists participated - Spaniards Jon Barrenetxea (Caja Rural) and Xabier Mikel Azparren (Euskaltel), Italian Davide De Cassan (Friuli), German Robert Jageler (P & S Metalltechnik) and Pole Adam Stachowiak (HRE Mazowsze Serce Polski).

The five had the biggest advantage of six minutes before the peloton started to catch them. Then, on the first ascent of the day, two Spaniards stood out from the leading group on Dupce, and Barrenetxe won the mountain goal in front of Azparren. 

On the descent towards Makarska, three cyclists caught up with the Spanish duo, and five cyclists passed through Makarska together before the final lap of 47.3 kilometers. Their advantage was 1:42 minutes ahead of the peloton.

That the leading five cooperated harmoniously is also shown by the results of passing goals in Makarska and Podgora, only nine kilometers away. In Makarska, Jageler won the passing goal in front of Stachowiak and Azparren, and in Podgora Barrenetxe in front of De Cassan and Azparren.

Until the southernmost point of this year's CRO Race in Živogošće, only Barrenetxe, Azparren, and Stachowiak remained in the lead. The main group reached them about 20 kilometers before the finish.

At the beginning of the last ascent of the day, the overall group leader, Dutchman Olav Kooij (Jumbo-Visma), broke out at the head of the group to attack his teammate and compatriot Sam Oomen. Unfortunately, the only one who could follow Oomen's attack was Norwegian Torstein Traen (Uno-X). The duo remained in the lead until the peak of the climb won by Traen, and the Norwegian managed to maintain a slight advantage over the group until entering Makarska. However, in the end, the group still caught him. 

Traen took the lead for the best climber and will wear a green jersey in the fourth stage, which will run from Zadar to Crikvenica (197 kilometers) on Friday, while Kooij kept the blue jersey for the best sprinter.

Croatian cyclist Fran Miholjević (Team Friuli) finished the stage in 48th place.

Upcoming CRO Race stages:

October 1, 4th stage: Zadar - Crikvenica (197 km)
October 2, 5th stage: Rabac / Labin - Opatija (137.5 km)
October 3, 6th stage: Samobor - Zagreb (156.5 km)

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Wednesday, 29 September 2021

CRO Race 2nd Stage: Olav Kooij Winner from from Slunj to Otočac

September 29, 2021 - Dutchman Olav Kooij, a member of the Jumbo-Visma team, won the CRO Race 2nd stage from Slunj to Otočac (187 kilometers) and took the lead in the overall standings.

Kooij, who was second in the first stage on Tuesday in Varaždin, positioned himself much better before the final sprint, broke out at the head of the main group about 100 meters before the finish line and won over Israeli Itamar Einhorn (Israel Start-Up Nation) in 2nd and Australian Caden Groves (Team Bikeexchange) in 3rd, reports HRT.

"Today's stage was much more demanding than yesterday's, but it suited me. In the continuation of the race, even more demanding exams await us, but I am ready," said only 19-year-old Kooij, who likes racing in Croatia.

The young Dutchman has already achieved two victories in Croatia, in GP Umag and GP Poreč in the early spring of 2020. 

Kooij also took the lead in the blue T-shirt standings for the best sprinter in the CRO Race.

In the 2nd stage, the fight to escape lasted a bit longer than in the first, but shortly after the start in Slunj, six cyclists stood out from the leading group - Poles Marcin Budzinski (HRE Mazowsze Serce Polski) and Mateusz Grabis (Voster ATS Team), Belgian Laurens Huys (Bingoal Pauwels Saucers WB), Slovenian Boštjan Murn (Adria Mobil), German Dominik Roeber (P & S Metalltechnik) and Austrian Manuel Bosch (Felbermayr Simplon Wels).

At the first passing goal in Plitvice Lakes, Budzinski was first in front of Grabis and Roeber. In the first ascent of the day towards Varičaci, two Kern Pharma drivers, Spaniard Jaime Castrillo and Russian Sava Novikov, stood out from the peloton. The duo quickly reached the top six, but Budzinski was ahead of Castrillo and Roeber.

The maximum advantage the eight cyclists had over the leading group was a little more than four minutes, but already during the descent towards Otočac and the first passage through the finish line, it dropped to three and a half minutes. During the first passage through the finish line in Otočac, Grabis was first in front of Castrillo and Roeber. On the most challenging climb of the day, Castrillo stood out from the leading group, who won the mountain finish in Kuterevo and thus took the lead in the overall standings for best climber. He will wear a green shirt in the third stage on Thursday.

Castrillo remained alone in the lead until about 20 kilometers before the finish and won the passing goal in Perušić. 

The third stage from Primošten to Makarska (167 kilometers long) is scheduled for Thursday.

Schedule: 

September 30, 3rd stage: Primošten - Makarska (167km)

October 1, 4th stage: Zadar - Crikvenica (197km)

October 2, 5th stage: Rabac / Labin - Opatija (137.5km)

October 3, 6th stage: Samobor - Zagreb (156.5km)

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Tuesday, 28 September 2021

CRO Race 1st Stage: Phil Bauhaus Finishes First from Osijek to Varaždin

September 28, 2021 - The CRO Race 1st stage finished on Tuesday on a 237-kilometers-long route from Osijek to Varaždin. On Wednesday, cyclists will ride from Slunj to Otočac.

The first and longest stage of the sixth edition of the CRO Race has been completed. The 237-kilometer stage started from Osijek with the finish line in Varaždin, reports HRT.

German Phil Bauhaus, a member of the Bahrain Victorious team, justified his status as one of the favorites to win and was faster than Dutchman Olav Kooi (Jumbo-Vism) in second and Norwegian Kristoffer Halvorsen (Uno-X) in third.

In the second stage, which will take place on Wednesday from Slunj to Otočac, Bauhaus will take the red shirt of the leader in the overall standings. This is his ninth victory in 2021.

"I positioned myself well before the finish. My team did a great job because it was a windy stage. I expect that the stage winner will be decided by the sprint on Wednesday, although there will be many more climbs ahead of us," said Bauhaus.

The longest stage of this year's race started as expected. Very soon after the start, a group of five drivers was formed, which stood out from the peloton and created a significant advantage. Among them was Croatian cyclist Fran Miholjevic (Team Friuli), accompanied by Poles Pawel Franczak (Voster ATS Team) and Marceli Boguslawski (HRE Mazowsze Serce Polski), Italian Mattia Viel (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), and German Tim Oelke (Metalltechnik).

At the first passing goal to Slatina after 84 kilometers, the Frenchman was first ahead of Viel and Boguslawski.

But the four "World Tour" teams competing in the race did not allow the advantage to grow too much, and the maximum difference was 4:45 minutes.

Fifty kilometers before the finish line, Boguslawski stood out from the leading group, who had a minute advantage before the only ascent in the stage in Ludbreški Vinogradi. By the top of the climb, Boguslawski had a 15-second lead over second-placed Miholjevic and third-placed Franczak and became the first green jersey holder at this year's CRO Race.

On the descent towards Ludbreg, Miholjević overtook Boguslawski and was the first to cross the passing goal in Ludbreg. As expected, soon after the second passing goal, 28 kilometers before the finish in Varaždin, the peloton caught the last two cyclists who spent more than 200 kilometers at the head of the race.

"The team plan for this stage was to try to get into an escape. I was the first to try, and that escape immediately succeeded," said 19-year-old Miholjević, who has never mastered such a long section as he had on Tuesday.

After the original escape, two Euskaltel drivers, Xabier Azparren and Luis Angel Mate, stood out from the leading group. They managed to hold out in front of the peloton up to eight kilometers before the finish line.

The best-placed Croatian cyclist was Josip Rumac, who finished the stage in 14th place. The young Fran Miholjević drove an excellent first stage and was first in the bonus sprint and second in the mountain passing goal. He finished the stage in 54th place. 

On Wednesday, the second stage will run from Slunj to Otočac in the length of 187 kilometers.

CRO Race 1st stage results:

1. Phil BAUHAUS TBV 5h52'06''

2. Olav KOOIJ* TJV

3. Kristoffer HALVORSEN UXT

4. Antonio ANGULO SAMPEDRO ANTONIO EUS

5. Mick VAN DIJKE* TJV

6. Itamar EINHORN ISN

7. Michel ASCHENBRENNER* PUS

8. Sanz Gotzon MARTIN EUS

9. Milan MENTEN BWB

10. David PER ADR 

TOTAL:

1. Phil BAUHAUS TBV 5h51'56''

2. Olav KOOIJ* TJV +4''

3. Kristoffer HALVORSEN UXT +5''

4. Markus HOELGAARD UXT +7''

5. Fran MIHOLJEVIĆ* CTF

6. Marceli BOGUSLAWSKI MSP

7. Pawel FRANCZAK VOS

8. Anders SKAARSETH UXT +8''

9. Stephen WILLIAMS TBV +9''

10. Antonio ANGULO SAMPEDRO ANTONIO EUS +10''

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Monday, 27 September 2021

2021 CRO Race Begins from Osijek on September 28!

September 27, 2021 - The 2021 CRO Race international cycling race will be held from September 28 to October 3 in six stages, on a route of more than 1,000 kilometers throughout Croatia.

This year, the 6th edition will offer many exciting attractions and pass through thirteen counties, including some already known and new destinations, reports Jutarnji List

The never-stronger race will host twenty world cycling teams from Europe, Asia, America, and Australia, from World Teams, Professional Continental, and Continental. CRO Race will drive the following stages: 1. Osijek - Varaždin (237 km), 2. Slunj - Otočac (187 km), 3. Primošten - Makarska (167 km), 4. Zadar - Crikvenica (197 km), 5. Rabac / Labin - Opatija (137.5 km) and 6. Samobor - Zagreb (156.5 km). The end of the last stage and the announcement of the overall winner this year will be at the Croatian National Theater on the Republic Square in Zagreb.

At the moment, 140 cyclists from six continents have registered, and among the teams that stand out is Dutch Jumbo - Visma, currently the second team in the world ranking, and Bahrain Victorius from Bahrain, fourth place in the world rankings with 27 wins in the 2021 season, advancing the most in the world rankings from 11th to 4th place. There are also teams from Australia, Belgium, Israel, Norway, Germany, the United States, and Slovenia, two teams from Italy and Poland, and three teams from Austria and Spain. A total of six Croatians will take part in the race - Antonio Barać (Meridiana Kamen Team), Matija Beđić (Meridiana Kamen Team), Filip Kvasina (Meridiana Kamen Team), Lorenzo Marenzi (Meridiana Kamen Team), Fran Miholjević (Cycling Team Friuli) and Josip Rumac (Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec).

The race's organizer is Top Sport Events, which has already proven its success during the past five editions of the CRO Race and is headed by the celebrated former Croatian cyclist Vladimir Miholjević.

"I thank all state institutions, counties, cities, municipalities, and other destination partners, as well as all partners and sponsors who are with us and support this project. This year we are even more strongly motivated to show Croatia and the world the readiness to organize such an event at the highest level that best promotes our country and its natural beauty. As you already know, CRO Race has an excellent status in the cycling world, confirmed by the race in the World Cycling Organization (UCI) calendar and the 2.1 race ranking qualification. So far, the biggest names of professional cycling have participated in previous editions of the race. With each new edition, we try to raise the bar, so this year we bring leading cycling teams and send a picture from the largest Croatian sports arena to more than 190 countries around the world," said Vladimir Miholjevic, director of the CRO Race.

As in previous years, the race will be broadcast daily by Croatian Radio and Television, and the live broadcast will be broadcast on Eurosport. In addition, thanks to the collaboration with A.S.O., the television signal will be broadcast on six continents - in Europe, North and South America, Asia, Africa, and Australia - in as many as 190 countries.

 

The race starts this year from Osijek, passes through Ludbreg, and ends in Varaždin. Destination partners are Osijek-Baranja County, the City of Osijek, the City of Ludbreg, and the City of Varaždin.

The town of Slunj opens the second stage before cyclists descend to Lika-Senj County, which will, with a finish in the town of Otočac, provide a household for the first time at the end of one stage. The destination partners are Lika-Senj County, the City of Slunj, the Municipality of Perušić, and the City of Otočac.

The entire caravan then moves to the coast, more precisely to Primošten, from where the third stage, 167 kilometers long, will lead through Rogoznica to the finish line in Makarska, passing through the southernmost point so far - Živogošće. The destination partners at this stage are Split-Dalmatia County, the Municipality of Primošten, the Municipality of Rogoznica, the Municipality of Tučepi, the Municipality of Podgora, and the City of Makarska.

The fourth stage starts in Zadar and moves through Starigrad Paklenica, continuing with a dynamic ride along the Adriatic Highway, leading cyclists to the bonus goal in Senj and to the finish in Crikvenica. Destination partners at this stage are the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, Zadar County, the City of Zadar, the Municipality of Starigrad-Paklenica, and the City of Crikvenica.

The fifth stage, which covers the Istria and Primorje-Gorski Kotar counties, is in Rabac and Labin, passing through Pazin, Kastav, Viškovo, and Rijeka and ending in Opatija. Destination partners at this stage are the County of Istria, the municipality of Viškovo, and the cities of Rabac / Labin, Pazin, Kastav, Rijeka, and Opatija.

The final, sixth stage, will start in Samobor and pass through Sveta Nedelja, Velika Gorica, Dugo Selo, and Vrbovec and the last mountain goal of the race in Sveti Ivan Zelina, after which it will end in Zagreb. Destination partners at this stage are the Zagreb County, the City of Samobor, the City of Sveta Nedelja, the City of Dugo Selo, the City of Vrbovec, the City of Sveti Ivan Zelina, and the City of Zagreb.

Since the first edition, CRO Race has been supported by the highest state institutions, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Energy, the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund, the Croatian National Tourist Board, the Central State Office for Sports, Plitvice Lakes, the City of Zagreb, the National Road Safety Plan, the Croatian Olympic Committee, the Croatian Cycling Federation and many other cities and counties that host the start and finish or passing cities of some of this year's stages.

In addition to HEP as one of the main sponsors, the project includes numerous other sponsors and partners: Valamar Riviera, Škoda, Uniline, Keindl Sport, Jadran Crikvenica, Maslinica Rabac, Brijuni National Park, Krka National Park, Avis, Vinistra, Ale, Caffe Borbone, Elite and Bilić-Erić osiguranje, and media and production partners Sportske Novosti, Hrvatska radiotelevizija, Amaury Sport Organization and Croatel.

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Tuesday, 7 September 2021

CRO Race Cycling Spectacle Returns in September for 6th Edition!

September 7, 2021 - The sixth edition of the international cycling race CRO Race will be held from September 28 to October 3 and will host about twenty cycling teams from Europe, Asia, America, and Australia, in six stages, on a route of more than 1,000 kilometers throughout Croatia.

The inclusion of the race in the World Cycling Organization (UCI) calendar and the 2.1 qualification rank of the race confirms the excellent status that CRO Race has in the cycling world.

"Along with top sports excitement and sound cycling names, this is a unique project that promotes Croatia in more than 190 countries around the world. Therefore, it is not surprising that the CRO Race race is called the most beautiful postcard of Croatia because during these six days we show our whole country from above and turn it into a unique sports arena," said Vladimir Miholjević, former Croatian cyclist and director of Top Sport Events, which has successfully organized all the previous five editions of the race through Croatia.

As in previous years, the race will be broadcast daily by the Croatian Radio and Television, the live broadcast will be broadcast on Eurosport, and thanks to the cooperation with the company A.S.O. it will be broadcast on six continents - in Europe, North and South America, Asia, Africa, and Australia - in as many as 190 countries.

"I thank all state institutions, counties, and cities and partners and sponsors who are just as motivated to show the world that we are ready to host the event at such a high level of competition and that we are a country striving for sporting success and can amaze the world with its natural beauty and heritage," Miholjević pointed out.

Miholjević also adds that the list of teams is impressive this year as well - the teams Jumbo Visma, Bike Exchange, Israel Start-Up Nation, and Bahrain Victorious are just some of those who announced their arrival. This is very reminiscent of previous editions of the race when we had the opportunity to see some of the biggest names in professional cycling, such as Vincenzo Nibali, Marko Cavendish, Tadej Pogačar, Primož Roglić, Adam Yates, and others.

The first stage of the race starts from Osijek, passes through Ludbreg, and ends in Varaždin. The town of Slunj opens the second stage, and then the cyclists descend to Lika-Senj County, which will, with a finish in the town of Otočac, provide a household for the first time at the end of one stage. After that, the entire caravan moves to the coast, more precisely to Primošten, from where the third stage, 167 kilometers long, will lead through Rogoznica to the finish line in Makarska. The fourth stage starts in Zadar, and through Starigrad, Paklenica continues with a dynamic ride along the Adriatic Highway, leading cyclists to the bonus goal in Senj and the goal in Crikvenica. The beginning of the fifth stage, which covers the Istria and Primorje-Gorski Kotar counties, is located in Rabac, passing through Pazin, Kastav, Viškovo, and Rijeka and ending in Opatija. The final, sixth stage, will start in Samobor, through Sveta Nedelja, Velika Gorica, Dugo Selo, and Vrbovec, and the last mountain goal of the race in Sveti Ivan Zelina, after which it will end in Zagreb.

More info can be found HERE.

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Monday, 7 October 2019

CRO Race: Adam Yates Overall Winner, Fedeli Fastest at Zagreb Finish Line

October 7, 2019 - British cyclist Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) is the winner of this year's edition of the CRO Race cycling tour, which finished at St. Mark's Square in Zagreb on Sunday.

HRT writes that Yates won with a time 22 seconds ahead of the second-placed Italian David Villella of Kazakhstan's Astana, and 29 seconds ahead of the third-placed Spaniard Victor De la Parte, a member of the US CCC team.

For the 27-year-old, who finished fourth at the 2016 Tour de France, this is his second victory in a stage race. So far, his best result was in Turkey in 2014. Earlier this year, Yates took second place in the "WorldTour" races "Tirreno-Adriatico" and "Volta a Catalunya".

“A win is a win no matter how big the race is. I can be pleased with the season even though it had its ups and downs,” Yates said.

In addition to the red jersey intended for the overall winner, Yates also won the green jersey as the best climber in the CRO Race. His team-mate from Australia, Alexander Edmondson (Mitchelton-Scott), won the blue jersey for best points, while Kazakhstani cyclist Vadim Pronski of Astana, who won the team title, wore the white jersey for best young cyclist. 

The best-placed Croatian cyclist was 40-year-old Radoslav Rogina (Adria Mobil), who finished in tenth place in the overall order,  2:09 minutes behind Yates.

The winner of the last, sixth stage, from Sveta Nedelja to St. Mark's Square in Zagreb, was Italian Alessandro Fedeli from the French team Delko Marseille, who finished two seconds before second-placed Slovenian Jan Tratnik from Bahrain-Merida and third-placed Austrian Florian Kierner from Felbermayr Simplon.

Fedeli was a member of the eight who stood out from the leading group at the very beginning of the stage in Sveta Nedelja, and by bravely driving through the streets of Zagreb, he was able to resist the peloton to the finish. Fedeli attacked his fleeing partners during the penultimate round of driving downtown Zagreb about 10 kilometers before the finish line. Although Kierner, Dutchman Stef Krul (Metec-TKH), and Austrian Florian Gamper (Tirol KTM) were always only 10 seconds behind, they failed to catch him, while the Bahrain-Merida-led peloton misjudged their attack and missed the 23-year-old Italian, who marked his fifth professional career victory.

Yates crossed the finish in Zagreb as seventh with five seconds behind Fedeli, but that was enough to increase his lead in the final order from 15 to 22 seconds ahead of Villella.

The final, sixth stage was driven from Sveta Nedjelja to Zagreb, and cyclists also visited several other cities in Zagreb County, like Velika Gorica, Dugo Selo, Vrbovec and Sveti Ivan Zelina during the 155-kilometer route. The race ended with two six-kilometer laps in the center of Zagreb. There were targets in Velika Gorica, Dugo Selo, and Vrbovec, while Sveti Ivan Zelina hosted the only hill in the stage.

Very soon after the start, eight cyclists stood out from the leading group - Austrians Florian and Patrick Gamper from the Tirol KTM team, Florian Kierner and Patrick Lehner from Felbermayr Simplon and the Dutch Dylan Bouwmans and Stef Krul (Metec-TKH), Italian Alessandro Fedeli (Delko Marseille) and Slovenian Matic Grošelj (Ljubljana Gusto Santic). Those eight quickly created an advantage of over four minutes, dividing all the prizes for hitting the goals, but as none of them were near the top in the standings to win first place in any of the three competitions (overall ranking, competition by points, competition for the best climber), these results did not affect the final ranking.

Although by the time they entered Zagreb, the leading group had fallen to only a minute and a half ahead, and though it seemed that the winner would come from the leading group of cyclists, young Fedeli had other plans and with a fantastic solo-run, he achieved a sweet victory.

RESULTS

6. STAGE:

1. Alessandro Fedeli (Ita/Delko Marseille)    3:22:14

2. Jan Tratnik (Slo/Bahrain)                                 +2

3. Florian Kierner (Aut/Felbermayr Simplon)        +2

4. Stef Krul (Niz/Metec-TKH)                                +2

5. Alexander Edmondson (Aus/Mitchelton-Scott) +5

6. Dušan Rajović (Srb/Adria Mobil)                       +5

7. Adam Yates (VB/Mitchelton-Scott)                    +5

8. Sjoerd Bax (Niz/Metec-TKH)                             +5

9. Benjamin Hill (Aus/Ljubljana Gusto Santini)     +5

10. Quentin Pacher (Fra/Vital Concept)               +5

-----------------------------------------------------

31. RADOSLAV ROGINA (HRV/Adria Mobil)           +24

51. JOSIP RUMAC (HRV/Androni Giocattoli)        +1:31

OVERALL RESULTS:

1. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)             20:57:05

2. Davide Villella (Ita/Astana)                      +22

3. Victor De la Parte (Špa/CCC)                   +29

4. Andrej Zajc (Kaz/Astana)                         +42

5. Domen Novak (Slo/Bahrain)                     +50

6. Alexis Guerin (Fra/Delko Marseille)           +1:09

7. Pierre Rolland (Fra/Vital Concept)            +1:25

8. Brent Bookwalter (SAD/Mitchelton-Scott) +1:42

9. Sjoerd Bax (Niz/Mrtec-TKH)                       +1:45

10. RADOSLAV ROGINA (HRV/Adria Mobil)     +2:09

---------------------------------------------------

37. JOSIP RUMAC (HRV/Androni Giocattoli)    +19:11

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Sunday, 6 October 2019

CRO Race: Adam Yates Takes Fifth Stage from Rabac to Platak

October 6, 2019 - British cyclist Adam Yates, a member of the Australian Mitchelton-Scott team, won the fifth stage of the CRO Race from Rabac to the 136-kilometer ascent to the top of Platak, and has also taken the overall lead.

HRT reports that Yates hit the finish line at 3:40:01, which was 10 seconds ahead of his closest companions, second-placed Italian David Villella (Astana) and third-placed Spaniard Victor De la Parte (CCC).

Before the final, sixth stage, which will run from Sveta Nedelja to St. Mark's Square in Zagreb (155km), Yates is 15 seconds faster than Villella in second, and 17 seconds ahead of De la Parte in third. 

“This was a stage that suited me; the team drove it well and prepared the ground for me to win. This is my first time performing in Croatia, and I am very pleased, the roads are excellent, the organization is top-notch and I hope to celebrate the overall victory tomorrow,” said Yates.

With this triumph, Yates took the overall lead and the green t-shirt for the best climber, while the blue t-shirt for the best sprinter was kept by teammate Australian Alexander Edmondson (Mitchelton-Scott). The best young cyclist and the white shirt was awarded to Kazakhstani cyclist Vadim Pronski (Astana).

Croatian veteran, 40-year-old Radoslav Rogina (Adria Mobil), in the day before the final stage, finished 10th overall, 1:50 minutes behind Yates.

The fifth leg of the CRO Race began in Rabac, close to the Valamar Hotel Complex, and started when riders arrived at the foot of the old town of Labin, where the first target was located. Slovenian champion Domen Novak (Bahrain-Merida) came first, ahead of Australian Benjamin Hill (Ljubljana Gusto Santic) and Dutchman Lars van den Berg (Metec-TKH).

After about 20 kilometers, a group of 11 drivers stood out from the peloton, none of whom were dangerous in the overall order. However, at no point did the 11-man lead manage to gain an advantage of more than three minutes, and their escape was already completed at the beginning of the climb to Ucka, 70 kilometers before the finish.

The flight for the overall victory had already started in Ucka, and in the second half of the 10km climb were favorites Briton Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), Italian David Villella (Astana), Spaniard Victor De la Parte ( CCC), Frenchman Alexis Guerin (Delco Marseille), Australian Nathan Earle (Israel Cycling Academy) and Slovene Domen Novak (Bahrain-Merida). Still, De la Parte's teammate Riccardo Zoidl (CCC) moved to the front at Ucka Nature Park, ahead of Slovene Domen Novak (Bahrain-Merida) and Australian Callum Scott (Mitchelton-Scott).

However, during the descent from Ucka and on the way to Opatija, the favorites slowed their pace and allowed several riders to return to the leading group. A small lull in the fight for the overall win was used by Spanish veteran Ruben Plaza (Israel Cycling Academy), who pushed to first in Opatija ahead of Kazakhstani Vadim Pronsky (Astana) and Frenchman Alexis Guerin (Delco Marseille). By the next target in Rijeka, a group of three cyclists was formed, and the first to hit Korzo was Slovenian Grega Bole (Bahrain-Merida).

The sprinter Bole soon led the group, and Pacher and Plaza managed to take the road toward Platak with about half a minute ahead of the peloton. Neither of them remained in the lead for long, and immediately after Plaza was swarmed by the main group, his Swiss teammate Matteo Badilatti attacked.

Badilatti's adventure lasted only until five kilometers before the finish line when the favorite for the overall victory, Adam Yates, decided to justify his status as the lead. Yates attacked forcefully and in just 200 meters, produced a 20-second advantage over his closest competitors. The hunt for Yates started by Novak, but in the last kilometer, he relented, and Villella, De la Parte and Rolland caught up. 

The sixth, final stage (154 km) ends on Sunday in Zagreb. This year, Sveta Nedelja was chosen as the start, after which cyclists will head to Zagreb, Velika Gorica, Dugo Selo, Vrbovec and Sveti Ivan Zelina, and return to Zagreb through the eastern part of Zagreb County to finish at St. Mark's Square. 

RESULTS

1.  Adam Yates  (VB/MTS)        3:40:01       

2.   Davide Villella (ITA/AST)         +10 sec          

3.   Victor de la Parte Gonzalez (ŠPA/CCC)                    

4.   Pierre Rolland (VCB/FRA)                    

5.   Domen  Novak (SLO/TBM)         +11          

6.    Nathan  Earle (AUS/ICA)         +17

OVERALL

1.  Adam Yates  (VB/MTS)                 

2.   Davide Villella (ITA/AST)        +15 sec          

3.   Victor de la Parte Gonzalez (ŠPA/CCC) +17

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