Everything is ready for the fifth consecutive edition of cycling race through Croatia which will be held under a new name this year – CRO Race and on another date from 1st to 6th October.
Twenty famous teams from competition categories such as World Tour, Pro Continental and Continental already confirmed their participation so the audience can expect a handful of top sports excitement and famous names. This year Tim Mitchelton-Scott from Australia will be arriving to Croatia for the first time.
The race starts on Tuesday, October 1st in Osijek. This stage will pass through Našice, Kutjevo, Pleternica, Velika, Požega, Pakrac and other places in Osijek-Baranja and Požega-Slavonia counties with a finish line in Lipik. Footage from the race will include three nature parks: Kopački rit, Papuk and Lonjsko polje.
The next day cyclists leave from Slunj via national park Plitvice Lakes towards the nature park Velebit from which they descend into Zadar County and towards Zadar where several exciting circles on the peninsula and an attractive sprint along the city walls are expected again.
The third day is ideal for the hikers who will start the path of Biokovo after the start in Okrug and then return to the finish line in Makarska. During this stage audience will see all the beauties of Split-Dalmatia County, especially Central Dalmatia and Makarska Riviera – Brela, Baška Voda, Tučepi and Podgora.
The fourth day is misleading only on paper while even a little carelessness can cost leading cyclists of overall ranking on this dynamic track. The stage begins in Starigrad in Zadar County, then continues next to national park Paklenica and the old highway roads leads through the southwestern slopes of Velebit across Senj towards the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County with a finish line in Crikvenica.
Last year, Rabac and Labin were such excellent hosts so they will continue this practice this year for the fifth stage which will start in Rabac with the ascent to Labin and then through Učka to Ičići, Opatija, Rijeka and Čavle. For this stage, the goal is set at Platak which is also the first time Platak will be included in the race. Two years ago, Vicenzo Nibali won the overall ranking by assuring points at the finish line in Sveta Nedelja so surely no one will underestimate the last stage which just appears easy. This year, Sveta Nedelja was chosen for the start after which cyclists will head to Zagreb, Velika Gorica, Dugo Selo, Vrbovec and Sveti Ivan Zelina and return to Zagreb through the eastern part of Zagreb County to the final finish line which will, same as previous years, be set at St. Mark square.
The most beautiful parts of Croatia, as well as fourteen national and nature parks, are included in the race again this year: nature park Kopački rit, nature park Papuk, nature park Lonjsko polje, national park Plitvice lakes, nature park Vransko jezero, nature park Biokovo, national park Krka, national park Paklenica, national park Northern Velebit, nature park Velebit, nature park Učka, national park Risnjak, nature park Žumberak – Samobor hills and nature park Medvednica. In this way, during the race itself and through the television broadcast of natural beauties, the most beautiful postcard of Croatia will be, once again, sent to the world. As previous years, the race will be broadcasted daily by Croatian National Television with ten hours of live TV broadcast and a total of three hours of highlights. Direct transmission will also be broadcasted on Eurosport, and TV broadcasts will be enabled, thanks to the collaboration with A.S.O. (Amaury Sport Organisation), to numerous television stations on 6 continents – Europe, North and South America, Asia, Africa and Australia – in as many as 190 countries of which some will broadcast live. New element this year is that the largest cycling online video site GCN will stream the program live for the US audience. In addition to that, the race will also be available at numerous flights of intercontinental airlines which provide sport programs to their passengers.
PHOTO: CRO Race/Tour of Croatia