An exciting opening to the Tour of Croatia 2016 ends in Varazdin on April 19, 2016.
The Tour of Croatia started with a blast. From the start in Osijek to the finish in Varaždin we saw more than 200 riders fighting for the podium on 235 km of roads.
“The win was always the main goal” said Giacomo Nizzoli, the winner who took three jerseys. Giacomo is took three jerseys today, the green, red and white one. “I knew Mark (Cavendish) was behind me. When you beat a great sprinter like him, its always nice to see, today was a special sprint.”
The race today was Nizzoli’s first time in Croatia: “The roads were great, the race seemed well organised. We had good weather and it was nice.”
First stage of the Tour of Croatia took us on course from Osijek to Varaždin and the race passed through Valpovo, Koprivnica, Ludbreg and ended in Varaždin. The peloton had the greatest reception in Valpovo, a home town of Bruno Maltar, a rider for the slovenian team RAR Radenska Ljubljana.
When riders entered Varaždin they knew they had two laps to go with the finish being on the main square, Korzo. DDD Team Dimension Data’s Mark Cavendish, one of today’s greatest sprinters was riding hard but eventually had to fall a full bike’s length behind the italian rider Giacomo Nizzoli riding for Trek Segafredo.
Tonight the riders will sleep in Plitvice, the first of the many Croatian national parks that the Tour will visit. Second stage, or as many will dub it, the Queen stage, will set off from Plitvice and finish in the old core of Split with a scenic view over the Adriatic.