Marko Kump claimed his another top 10 spot, sprinting to 6th on the opening stage of Tour of Croatia.
Info: Stage 1, April 17th, Osijek – Koprivnica, 227km
Tour of Croatia didn’t get off to a most pleasant start, with 227km on the opening stage, mostly covered in rain. In such difficult conditions 4 brave riders decided to go clear soon after the start. They gained almost 6 minutes on the peloton, which was not much for such a long distance to think about holding on until the finish line.
The last escapee standing got caught at the entrance to the final, 9-kilometer lap. To stay safe, almost entire CCC Sprandi Polkowice squad was pushing at the head of the bunch, battling for position for Marko Kump.
In the dangerous finale, on wet and slippery roads of Koprivnica, Slovenian finished 6th, while Niccolo Bonifazzio (Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team) took the win. Andrea Guardini (Bardiani-CSF) was 2nd and Eduard Grosu (Nippo – Vini Fantini – Europa Ovini) 3rd.
It was really important to stay up front on the finishing circuit, at the helm of the bunch and we did a good job of doing just that. We lost good positions though with 3km to go, when me and Paweł Franczak lost sight of each other. I tackled last corner with 1km remaining a little bit too far behind, was able to get back in the game with 500m to go, but after that I couldn’t do much more. Team was strong, I felt very good and I hope to better that result on the upcoming stages.