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Tour of Croatia. Stage 2. Riccardo Minali – 3rd, Evgeniy Gidich – 4th after windy stage in Croatia

The longest stage of the Tour of Croatia 234,5 km long from Karlovac to Zadar was characterized by a very strong wind during the whole day. 

It was a breakaway with a few riders from the beginning of the stage, but around 180 km to go, due to difficult whether conditions, organizers decided to neutralize the race and give the riders an opportunity to safely pass the descent.

The stage was resumed around 40 km to go and finished with sprint from the little group won by Eduard Michael Grosu from Romania.

Astana Pro Team rider Riccardo Minali finished on the third position, just after the Giacomo Nizzolo from Italy.

-  Today in the final I had a very good legs, but there were a lot of crashes at the final laps. Me and Evgeniy Gidich worked a lot to come back to the first positions, to close the gaps after the crashes. Finally, the guy, who won, attacked at the last 700 meters, I tried to catch and close the gap, but there were a lot of corners in the finish, and my attack was a little bit late. At 500 meters to go Giacomo Nizzolo also passed me and I was able to finish only 3rd. But my condition is very good, and the day after tomorrow we will try again, - explained Riccardo Minali after the finish.

Young Kazakh neopros Evgeniy Gidich finished just behind his teammate, at the fourth position.

- Today was a very strong wind, as in the movies. All of our guys are in good conditions, we worked a lot at the final, keeping the front positions. Of course, we wanted to win with Minali, but we were a little bit unlucky at the finish, - said Evgeniy Gidich after the stage.

Another Kazakh rider Ruslan Tleubayev was also unlucky today and crashed at the 2 km to the finish. Fortunately, there were no any serious consequences and injuries for the rider. 

- The final two laps were very technically difficult.  There were a lot of corners and a lot of crashes almost at the every corner. At the 2 km to go our Ruslan Tleubayev also crashed. Fortunately, he is okay. Finally, we finished at the 3rd and 4th places, - concluded the sports director Sergey Yakovlev.

Photo credit: Bettiniphoto.net

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