Mark Cavendish, Team Dimension Data’s flying gun is the winner of the second stage on Tour of Croatia ridden on Wednesday from the Plitvice Lakes National Park to Split. In another sprinter’s final, Mark was immaculately backed up by his colleague Mark Renshaw and managed to yield a victory over Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo), eventually taking over the general classification.
Not even a flat tyre some 80 kilometres in couldn’t stop superstar to climb onto the stage as the fastest man of the day. After the introductory two stages Cavendish and Nizzolo hold the same spot on the top thanks to the points for the stage wins. Mark Renshaw came in 3rd.
Some 30 kilometres from setting off, six riders took on a breakaway: Lukasz Bodnar (Verva Active Jet Pro Cycling), Nicola Boem (Bardiani CSF), Kevin De Mesmaeker (Team Novo Nordisk), Joshua Hunt (One Pro Cycling), Aviv Yechezkel (Cycling Academy Team) i Johannes Shinnagel (Team Felbermayr Simplon Wels). Alongside one another they rode with heavy crosswinds and headwinds for full 180 kilometres. The breakaway bunch at some point held a maximum advantage of 5 minutes. 30 kilometres away from the finish line, Nicola Boem tried to get ahead of the breakaway group on his own but was caught up eventually right outside Split.
Another brief period of excitement was provided by Matej Mugerli, a 34 year-old from Synergy Baku Cycling Project, 3 kilometers away from the finish.
Going through 2 roundabouts and a couple of 90 degree turns, the outstanding Mark Renshaw brought his teammate Mark Cavendish into an opportunity he couldn’t miss. Although the relentless Giacomo Nizzolo was still on Mark’s tail but at the end could not manage to finish strong. The more demanding third stage is scheduled Thursday. It sports 190 kilometres and 2744 metres total elevation gain. Visually this is the most attractive stage at 2016 Tour of Croatia, spanning from Makarska to Šibenik.