Marko Kump sprinted to 10th place on stage 2 of Tour of Croatia, with a tricky and dangerous finish in Zadar.
Info: Stage 2, April 18th, Karlovac – Zadar, 244,5km
The longest stage of this year’s edition of Tour of Croatia saw 5-man breakaway staying clear for majority of the race. They established 6-minute gap, but the peloton that included all CCC Sprandi Polkowice riders, had things under control.
The field split after the feed zone, midway through the stage. “Riders in orange” got caught in the second group and had to close around 30-second gap.
At 170km the organizers were forced to neutralize part of the stage, due to extremely strong wind. The peloton covered around 20-kilometer stretch, where just minutes earlier a truck had been overturned in gale force winds, being protected from the side by cars.
Racing was resumed with around 28km to go and the finale saw few attacks. None of them stuck and it came down to a bunch gallop. The finish in Zadar was very twisty and chaotic, with few riders crashing. That made the lead-out much harder and Marko Kump sprinted to 10th place. Eduard Grosu (Nippo – Vini Fantini – Europa Ovini) claimed the win, besting Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek – Segafredo) and Riccardo Minali (Astana Pro Team).
In 2015, when I won in Zadar the finishing lap was longer and less tricky. This time the circuit was much more dangerous and twisty. Peloton were strung out and sprinters where basically on their own, with no typical lead-out. With 1km to go crash happened in 6-7th position, that created a gap and I had to close it. That cost me a lot of energy and I had to settle for top 10. It was a crazy finish – Marko Kump explained.