Tour of Croatia’s third stage led from Trogir to Sveti Jure, the top of Biokovo, on Thursday.
Belarusian Konstantin Sivcov (Bahrain) won the third stage of this year’s edition of the Tour of Croatia cycling race, which traveled from Trogir to the peak of Biokovo, Sveti Jure, for 134 kilometers. The best Croatian cyclist was Radoslav Rogina (Adria Mobil) who came in just 56 seconds behind Sivcov, reports Gol.hr on April 19, 2018.
After the first two stages saw sprinters in the lead, the third stage saw the best of the climbers. In the last 29 kilometers, cyclists had to overcome the extremely demanding ascent 1762 meters up to the top of Sveti Jure from sea level at Podgora.
With such an exceptionally long ascent, for which the best in the third stage needed more than an hour and 20 minutes to finish, a great deal of experience came into the forefront as three of the first four cyclists are older than 35 years. The winner of the third stage was Sivcov (35), Dutchman Pieter Weening (37) from the Roompot team came in second, and Croatia’s Rogina who finished fourth is 39 years old. The only outsider in this age group was 21-year-old Kazakhstani cyclist Yevgeny Gidič (Astana), who came in third place.
At the beginning of the third stage, five riders were separated from the peloton, and among them was Croatian representative Mateo Franković (Meridiana Kamen). The other cyclists in the group included Slovenia’s Jonko Božić (Adria Mobil), Dutchman Nick van der Lijke (Roompot), Romanian Emil Dim (MsTina Focus) and Danish cyclist Nicolai Nielsen (Holowesko), who, ahead of the ascent to Biokovo, had an almost five-minute advantage over the leading group. As the road went uphill, however, this leading five fell apart, with the furthest being the leader Van der Lijke.
The young Danish cyclist Nilas Eg and the Trek team prepared the track for their Italian captain Gianluca Brambilla to attack. About 10.5 kilometers before the target was Sivcov. Though Brambilla was forced to react to this acceleration, he was unable to keep the tempo of the Belarusian. Only Rogina, Weening and Gidič succeeded. This four held together five kilometers before the finish, while Weening decided to try his luck at uphill speed.
In a single kilometer, the Dutchman managed to create more than a 20-second advantage over the escort but failed to keep the edge to the end. Sivcov better placed his strength and caught Weening a kilometer and a half before the finish. The two cyclists kept up to the very end, and in the last 200 extremely steep yards, Sivcov broke Weening and gained a four-second advantage. Gidič and Rogina raced behind for the final spot on the podium, and in the end, the young Jevgenij Gidič finished third 49 seconds behind Sivcov, while Rogina was seven seconds behind Gidič.
In the overall order, Sivcov has an eight-second advantage over Weening, is 47 seconds ahead of Gidič and 1:06 seconds ahead of Rogina.
On Friday, the fourth stage leads from Starigrad (NP Paklenica) to Crikvenica for 171 kilometers.
You can see the highlights from stage two below.