Jan Hirt will approach second mountainous stage of this year’s Tour of Croatia, in 3rd place overall. Another CCC Sprandi Polkowice rider, Felix Grossschartner also remains at the top of the standings after the sprinter stage, in 5th.
Info: April 21st, stage 4, Crikvenica – Umag, 171km
Course: undulating, flat finale
The breakaway of the day was formed after one lively hour of racing, when four riders slipped into the lead. Alan Marangoni (NIPPO Vini_Fantini), Johannes Schinnagel (Team Felbermayr – Simplon Wels), Daniel Turek (Israel Cycling Academy) and Antonio Di Sante (GM Europa Ovini) recorded the biggest gap of the stage, at 4:30.
The peloton measured out the chase perfectly, as they caught the last escapee standing, Marangoni just before the finish line. Nicola Ruffoni (Bardiani-CSF) claimed the sprint, edging out Riccardo Minali (Astana Pro Team) and Ivan Savitskiy (Gazprom-RusVelo).
There was a split in the bunch in the finale, and two highest placed in GC “riders in orange”, Jan Hirt and Felix Grossschartner came in in the second group, 7 seconds behind the winner. New leader, Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) was able to get to the finish with the fastest sprinters.
Tomorrow’s stage should be decisive in terms of general standings. The riders will tackle HC category climb Vojak twice, including mountain top finish.