3rd place for Vincenzo Nibali at 2nd Stage of Tour of Croatia
Biokovo, Sv. Jure, 19th April – Vincenzo Nibali took 3rd place at today’s shortened 2nd stage of Tour of Croatia. Kanstantin Siutsou was in top ten with 6th place and the whole team is satisfied with their performance in the tough weather conditions.
Bad weather, unusual for this time of year, was keeping organizers of Tour of Croatia on edge through the night. After snowing on Velebit mountain range and partially closed roads due to heavy wind, called Bura, the riders woke up to a clear and sunny day. But the wind was still very strong, so the organizers decided to shorten the stage for the last 15 km, before the peak of Biokovo mountain, that was covered with fresh snow. The wind was really strong on some segments beneath the mountain, by the coast and it’s hard shots of over 120 km/h were definitely challenging for the riders.
Race began in a picturesque seaside old ancient town Trogir in a good tempo and on the flat part above Split a breakaway group of several riders formed. The peloton kept eyes on them and the gap was never bigger than 3 minutes. After Omiš, on the coastal road between steep mountains on one side and little bays on the other, the race got more and more interesting. BAHRAIN MERIDA Pro Cycling Team riders followed their strategy throughout today’s stage and gave a good and much needed wind shelter to Vincenzo Nibali. The team had a strict plan to work hard for Vincenzo and to avoid any unnecessary risks at today’s windy and shortened stage.
13 km before finish, at the climb to Biokovo, the bunch caught the breakaway group and Franco Pellizotti, together with the rest of our riders, was focused on Vincenzo, giving him all the support he needed. Vincenzo finished 3rd today and Kanstantin Siutsou 6th, which are great rankings for today’s stage.
All of the BAHRAIN MERIDA riders were confident in their performance today. Domen Novak had a minor crash after 5th kilometre at one roundabout and got a facial scratch, but that was not a reason to quit. It even motivated Domen, who is a new member in Vincenzo’s squad, further. Kristijan Đurasek, a Croatian rider, from UAE Team Emirates won today’s stage.
Vincenzo Nibali commented today’s stage: »The end was quite difficult; it was the first climb finish. The team worked well and we took 3rd place. There is room for improvement, but I feel better day after day. We will see how the next stages will go …«
Franco Pellizotti was satisfied with today’s performance: »Today it was the »King Stage« but only on the final climb. The whole team did a great work at today’s stage and Vincenzo took a very good 3rd place at the end. Today’s climb was not as hard as we expected, but it was faster because it was shortened and many riders came relatively fresh to the climb. We all have a good feeling and confidence at Tour of Croatia, our final preparation for Giro d’Italia.«
KL-Photo of photos and Goran Razic Cinematography of video.