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Bonifazio wins opening stage of Tour of Croatia

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niccolo bonifazio tour of croatia stage 1 2018

Niccolo Bonifazio (Bahrain-Merida) collected his first victory of the season on Tuesday at the opening stage of the Tour of Croatia, outsprinting Andrea Guardini and Eduard Grosu after a long day in the saddle.

Bonifazio started his sprint already some 400 meters to the finish line, but then he realized that he wouldn’t pull through, so he slowed down a bit, letting Andrea Guardini catch him. They even had a slight contact. But 100m to the end Bonifazio pushed again, gave his best and brought the Team the first stage win in this race.

“Finally, I won, after a year and a half,” commented Bonifazio. “My last win was in Poland, where there was also a very long stage, so obviously long stages are good for me. I gained real strength just after 225 km. Team-mates brought me into very good position for the sprint. Matej’s strategy worked very well,”

“I hope to recover well for tomorrow’s another challenging and very long stage where I will start much more relaxed after the fact I won today,” concluded Niccolò, who now holds the red and the blue jersey.

Tour of Croatia 2018 – stage 1 results (Osijek – Koprivnica):

1 Niccolo Bonifazio (Bahrain-Merida)

5:45:15

2 Andrea Guardini (Bardiani-CSF)

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3 Eduard Grosu (Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini)

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4 Riccardo Minali (Astana)

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5 Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo)

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6 Marko Kump (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)

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7 John Murphy (Holowesko-Citadel)

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8 Ziga Jerman (Ljubljana Gusto Xaurum)

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9 Federico Zurlo (MsTina Focus)

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10 Jimmy Duquennoy (WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic)

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