In the fifth stage of Tour of Croatia, where cyclists had to master Učka from the Istrian and Kvarner side, was marked as the key stage in the event.
Italian Manuele Boaro (Bahrain) won the fifth leg of this year’s “Tour of Croatia” cycling race which traveled from Rabac to the Učka peak for 156.5 kilometers. Boaro’s teammate, Belarusian Konstantin Sivcov (Bahrain), retained the lead in the overall order, now eight seconds ahead of Dutchman Pieter Weening (Roompot) in second, reports Gol.hr on April 21, 2018.
The fifth stage, where cyclists had to master Učka twice, first from the Istrian and then from the Kvarner side, was marked as crucial – though there was much less activity in the fifth than in the third stage which ended at the top of Biokovo. Sivcov, together with his strong team, quietly controlled the situation and did not allow Weening to be a threat. The closest distance between Sivcov and Weening happened just a kilometer ahead of the finish when Weening managed to create a 10-meter advantage, but Sivcov quickly closed the fight, and the best overall two came together to Učka as the eighth and ninth in the fifth stage.
In the fight for best in the overall order, Učka expected to see a battle for the third between Croatian veteran Radoslav Rogina (Adria Mobil) and the young Kazakhstani cyclist Jevgenij Gidič (Astana), as Gidič is better by just 19 seconds. However, the 39-year-old Rogina could not threaten his rival, though he was able to keep the fourth place with nine seconds ahead of Niklas Eg (Trek).
And while the struggle in the overall order went without much excitement, it was exciting for the stage five victory. In the fifth stage, 11 cyclists were able to part from the group – including Croatian representative Bruno Maltar (Meridiana Kamen), who in the last 15 kilometers of the Učka climb, had a three-and-a-half-minute advantage over the peloton.
The first one to attack in the group was Italian Mirko Maestri (Bardiani CSF), but his attempt failed nine kilometers before the finish. Following Maestri was the separation of Johnatan Canaveral (Bicicletas Strongman) who spent about five kilometers in the lead before being approached by Lukasz Owsian (CCC), Manuele Boaro (Bahrain) and Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani CSF). 500 meters before the finish, an unstoppable Boaro attack allowed him to win first just seven seconds ahead of Owsian in second, or 10 seconds ahead of the fourth stage winner, Tonelli, who took third place.
The victory for Boaro is the third win for Bahrain in this race after Niccolo Bonifazio was the fastest in the first stage and Sivcov in the third.
In the final stage, which will travel from Samobor to Zagreb’s St Mark’s Square for 151.5 kilometers on Sunday, Sivcov leads the overall group with 8 seconds ahead of Weening, or 51 seconds ahead of Gidič in third. Rogina is 1:15 minutes behind the leading Belarusian in fourth.