Croatian cycling has a long tradition at the Olympic Games, with the first Croats taking part were Đuro Dukanović, Koloman Sović and Rudolf Truban in 1924 in Paris
An even earlier opportunity was made by Franjo Gregl in 1912 in Stockholm, but he refuse to compete under the Hungarian flag, as Croatia was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro will also host Croats, a small and well chosen team, Glas Slavonije wrote on July 29, 2016.
Headed towards Brazil are Kristijan Đurasek and Matija Kvasina, accompanied by selector Vladimir Miholjević and mechanic Alan Dumić. Croatian cyclists in Rio will compete in the road race and while Đurasek is premiering at the Olympics, these are the second Games for Kvasina. He defended Croatian colours in 2008 in Beijing, where he raced also in the road race and in the chronometer race. The second representative in Beijing was Miholjević currently the selector, who decided who will make the trip to Brazil.
Croatia has some good cyclists lately driving for renown world teams, but only two made their way to Brazil. Kristijan performed well in the recently finished Tour de France, had some notable rides in legs, ending up in the 51st position, while Matija Kvasina won the Tour of Croatia in 2016, so the two were prominent first choices. The road race is scheduled for August 6, it is 256.4 kilometres long, start and finish are in Flamengo park, with cyclists passing Rio landmarks such as the Copacabana.
It’s an interesting track, the second leg named Canoas is quite hard with many ascents, but the Olympic medal is at stake and the world cycling elite is ready for another great challenge. There will be 150 cyclists at the start, Croats are not favourites, especially alongside the fantastic British cyclist Chris Froome, triple winner of the Tour de France. Froome comes to Rio after again passing first through the Arc de Triomphe, but besides him there are strong and numerous Dutch, Spanish, Italians, Belgians, Columbians…