EOLO KOMETA is competing this week in the six stages of the CRO Race. A beautiful route through the country will take the riders from the shores of the Adriatic Sea through the island region to the capital Zagreb. The queen stage will accumulate more than 3,500 metres of elevation gain, so the general classification could be defined with a majority of days probably end in a mass sprint finishes.
While the intense Italian Classics calendar continues, a second EOLO KOMETA group moves to Croatia for the CRO Race and its six stages. This Tuesday, the town of Primosten will kick off 181 kilometres with three climbs but a likely finish for fast riders. The second day will be even flatter but with the danger of windy conditions, with a finish in Novalja, which is also nervous due to its short distance, just 114 kilometres. The final circuit in Opatija on the third stage will also offer an opportunity for the sprinters before the mountains.
The fourth stage and the queen day offers almost 200 kilometres with 3,600 metres of elevation gain. Five mountain passes, with Poklon (HC) as the hardest but 85 kilometres from the finish and a high finish in Labin to leave the general classification on track. If there was any doubt, stage 5 will include a first category climb with more than 2000 metres of elevation gain but with a more favourable finish that could even give the sprinters a chance if a breakaway fails to make its way. On Sunday in Zagreb, the riders will race 4 laps of the final circuit where a sprinter will have the chance to raise his arms.
Aware of the course and its opportunities, EOLO KOMETA faces CRO Race with a line-up of fast men in which Giovanni Lonardi and David Martin will be the references always supported by a Mirco Maestri especially skilled in demanding finishes like his third place in the rainy first stage last year, and Simone Bevilacqua. In the day’s work to control and protect the leaders, as well as having their chance in the breakaways, Erik Fetter and Andrea Pietrobon will be two key riders. Fernando Tercero’s chance will come on the queen day, where he could be in a position to fight for the stage and the general classification. Last season Vincenzo Albanese was very close to the final podium.
Jesús Hernández, sport director of EOLO KOMETA in CRO Race, emphasizes the intention of “playing with the options of our riders in the terrains that best suit each one. There will be opportunities for everyone, we will run every day with the intention of achieving the best possible result. Without being a really hard race, with a day that can break the race, the overall is difficult but we don’t rule it out if we have the chance to fight for it”.