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CRO Race. Stage 5. Davide Villella is second at queen stage, Vadim Pronskiy takes white jersey

The CRO Race reached its decisive phase with the queen 5th stage of the race to the top of the first category climb in Platak. Astana Pro Team did a solid and aggressive race, while Davide Villella was able to finish second, just 10 seconds behind the stage winner Adam Yates. Another Astana’s rider Andrey Zeits was 7th, while team’s trainee Vadim Pronskiy took the white jersey of the best young rider.

- We had a good plan for this stage and soon after the start Zhandos Bizhigitov went in a breakaway, so we could stay safely in the main group, saving some energy for the final. On the last climb our team did a good acceleration to reduce the peloton. I felt quite well today, and the legs worked as I expected. I did my best, but, of course, it was difficult to follow that move of Adam Yates. However, I am happy with my performance and with the way I did this stage. Of course, I’d prefer to win today for my team where I spent two great seasons… Well, another stage is coming tomorrow, and we will try to help Yevgeniy Gidich in the sprint, - said Davide Villella.

- I think, it was a very beautiful stage with many climbs and a lot of action. In the daily breakaway we had Zhandos Bizhigitov and it was a perfect situation for us. As we expected, the first big selection has been done on the penultimate climb to Dopolavoro, but our team always was in front, working for the leaders. Unfortunately, just before the bottom of the last climb Yevgeniy Gidich has got a flat tire. Zhandos Bizhigitov provided him a great support helping Yevgeniy to come back in the pack, but, of course, he spent too much energy. Davide Villella did a solid race, but Adam Yates was just stronger today. In the end of the day we have a second and a fourth place in the general classification, also Vadim Pronskiy took the white jersey. So, it is a nice result of this queen stage. The last stage is coming tomorrow, and it will be a good opportunity for us to fight for a victory. But the main goal will be to protect out place on the podium and we will do our best for it, - added sports director Sergey Yakovlev.

With only one stage to go Adam Yates leads the general classification of the CRO Race, having 15 seconds on Davide Villella (2nd in the overall) and Victor De La Parte (3rd in the overall). Andrey Zeits is 4th, +0.33. Vadim Pronskiy has a comfortable lead in the best young rider classification, while Astana leads the overall team’s classification of the race.

The final stage of the CRO Race will be held tomorrow: 154 km from Sveta Nedelja to Zagreb.

Photo credit: © Boris Kačan, KL Photo

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