CRO Race (2.1)
Stage 1: Osijek – Ludbreg (223km)
EOLO Kometa went on the attack in the first stage of the CRO Race and managed the tricky finish to take the podium thanks to the solid sprint of Mirco Maestri, third at the finish line in front of the other fast riders.
A heavy rain accompanied the riders for more than 220 kilometres, with Samuele Rivi in an initial breakaway of seven guys where he took double points at the intermediate sprint. With no chance of winning the race, and with the objective achieved, he dropped back to the bunch in order to save his strength for the stages to come.
A very twisty finish, a circuit for real specialists and the rain was pouring down. The blues organised themselves to avoid surprises, with special mention to Maestri and his attitude at the front to get into any cut that the slippery descent could provoke. Always in the top-10, going out for the many attempts, he contested the sprint finish to take third with solvency and ambition. There will be many more opportunities.
Mirco Maestri: “We controlled the stage well during the first part of the race with Rivi in the breakaway scoring in the intermediate sprints. In the last 50 kilometres it started to rain heavily and we worked together to get Albanese as safe as possible, but in the final kilometres he didn’t feel 100% ready to race due to the weather conditions and he told me to try it myself. In the end I got a third position and I felt very good. For the next few days, the team’s goal is to keep riding in the same line, letting ourselves be seen, and I’m sure that more opportunities will come also with Albanese who is in a great shape”.