The 3rd edition of Tour of Croatia starts on April 18th in Osijek and finishes on April 23 in Zagreb.
This years demanding route will take us through 6 stages and more then 1000km all around Croatia. Osijek is again a starting point just like last year and first stage is completely flat to Koprivnica.
The whole tour moves to Trogir for the start of the 123 km long second stage with a mountain finish at 1762m high Sveti Jure peak on Biokovo mountain. This stage will definitely split the peloton and strong climber will control the race from this point.
Stage 3 connects Imotski and Zadar with 237km to be raced, while stage 4 starts from Crikvenica, goes through mountain Učka for a flat finish in Umag after 171 km.
Stage 5 is queen stage of this years Tour of Croatia. The start is in Poreč with Učka mountain finish, but riders will have to climb it first from Istrian side before finishing the stage climbing it from Kvarner side.
The last 145km starts from Samobor and finishes with few loops around Sveti Marko Square in Craotian’s capital, where award ceremony will be held.
Team Bahrain Merida is one of the 4 World Tour teams competing. With two flat stages, two medium stages, and two mountain stages this will be great rehearsal before Giro d’Italia. Vincenzo Nibali will build his form for the race of the year.
Gorazd Štangelj, Bahrain Merida Sports Director: “Our team will try to protect our leader Vincenzo Nibali on mountain as well as on flat stages, while he’ll test himself on mountain stages. As a team we are favorites to win this race, and therefore we’ll ride that way, without many breakaways and without any individual interests. It will be hard to expect that we will challenge any sprint (flat) stages.”