The fifth instalment of the race, Tour of Croatia 2019, should’ve taken place in just a few days, from April the 23rd until the 28th. Yesterday, unfortunately, the organisers posted that they weren’t able to come up with the financial structure that would allow the race to take place on their Facebook page.
Translated, the post above informs the media that Ivan Črnajić, the race director, regretfully informs the public that the race won’t be taking place this year, and thank everyone who recognised the importance of the images the race sent out to the world.
Unfortunately, he says that some of the sponsors haven’t fully come through with their promised support, and that the project needs to be cancelled in this, the final stage of preparation.
While the race was supported by Croatian Cycling Federation, Olympic Commitee, International Cycling Union, Ministry of Tourism, Croatian tourist board and others, the final confirmation by some sponsors was still pending, and it hasn’t arrived. (There’s no mention of who those sponsors might be.) 20 of the world’s best teams were confirmed to participate in Tour of Croatia 2019 (Trek-Segafredo, Team Androni Giocattoli, Bardiani – CSF Pro Team, Burgos BH, Gazprom-RusVelo, Israel Cycling Academy, Neri – Selle Italia – KTM, NIPPO Vini Fantini Faizanè. Riwal Readynez Cycling Team, Roompot – Charles Cycling Team, Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise, Team Novo Nordisk, CCC Team, EvoPro Racing, Vino – Astana Motors Fan Club, BIKE AID Pro Cycling Team, MERIDIANA PRO CyclinG TeaM, TARTELETTO – ISOREX Continental Cycling Team, Team Coop and Amore & Vita – Prodir). Also, many international TV stations confirmed live coverage, on almost all continents and over 150 countries.
In the Facebook post, Črnajić accuses an unnamed former business partner for the obstruction and false statements, adding that legal steps were undertaken to protect his rights and interests.
Croatian media explain that the “unnamed former partner” is Vladimir Miholjević, former pro cyclist, who was one of the key initiators of the race (Črnajić was also among the organisers). Their partnership came to an end late last year, when Črnajić allegedly protected the name Tour of Croatia without even telling Miholjević about it, after which Miholjević withdrew from the organisation completely. Later this year, in October, Miholjević is organising another race in Croatia, called “Cro Race”. Hopefully, that one will be more succesful.