UMAG, April 21st 2017 – Nicola Ruffoni (CSF Bardiani) connected back-to-back wins on Tour of Croatia after he claimed another victory literally in last metres of the 4th stage, which took place Friday from Crikvenica to Umag, totalling 171 kilometres in length.
Tenths of a second did matter as the pack got itself in the final rush to catch Alan Marangoni of Nippo – Vini Fintini, who almost managed to steal the victory thanks to a clever breakaway move from the leading group of four one kilometre to go.
Accompanied by Daniel Turek (Israel Cycling Academy), Johannes Schinnagel (Team Felbermayr – Simplon Wels) and Antonio Di Sante (GM Europa Ovini), Marangoni spent 130 kilometres in breakaway that has occurred early in the race. Right before peloton succeeded to nullify the gap in final kilometre or slightly more, Marangoni had attacked on his own, targeting a heroic win. Above all riders, Ruffoni anticipated the situation just on time, somehow managing to overcome exhausted countryman.
Eventually, Marangoni fell down to 6th place. Riccardo Minali of Astana Pro Team passed through the finish line as second, while Ivan Savitskiy came as third best. It was Minali's third success on this year's race. He took 6th place in 1st stage and 3rd one yesterday in Zadar.
Daniel Turek of Israel Cycling Team deserves special honouring. Counting breakaways from 3rd and 4th day together, he spent more than 300 kilometres riding off the pack. Respect!
Final rushing led to another change in overall classification. Leader after 3rd stage, Jaime Roson of Caja Rural-Seguros, fail to track down the faster group of the peloton that was catching Marangoni. He came seven seconds behind the group of winners, which made Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) new leader of general classification. Italian great has two seconds’ advantage over Roson now, prior to the 5th, queen stage of the event, which could decide the winner on Saturday.
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