Giacomo Nizzolo, the Italian rider from UCI World Team Trek-Segafredo is the winner of the first stage at the 2016 Tour Of Croatia, a cycling race across Croatia. This flat stage started in the early hours in Osijek and finished in Varaždin after 235 kilometres.
In a massive stage final the Italian sprinter wins over Britain's Mark Cavendish. The third place was taken over by Timothy Dupont from Veranda's Willems Cycling. Croatia celebrates the amazing performance from their own Josip Rumac, an outstanding sprinter from Synergy Baku Cycling Project, finishing 13th. Last year's winner, Maciej Paterski from CCCSprandi Polkowice came in 16th.
When the peloton crossed the first checkpoint it was already 8 minutes behind the first four breakaway riders. The advantage melted easily as the stage was close to wrapping up. At about 50 kilometres to the end, Guillaume Boivin from Cycling Academy Project got in front of the breakaway group and 35 kilometres before the end the Canadian managed to get 2 minutes ahead and entered Varaždin as the leader. The peloton caught up with him no more than 2 kilometres before the finish line, which means the Cycling Academy Project led the race for over 200 kilometres. Mark Cavendish couldn't finish strong in the two laps in the city centre with the support of his team Dimension Data. The first stage was unfortunate for CCC's Simone Ponzi, as he crashed 50 kilometres in which forced him to quit.
The longest, second stage (240km) set off today and will present itself as much more demanding with the total of 2 kilometres of climbing. The starting line is situated in Plitvice National Park with the finish in Split.
More photos from the first stage can be seen in this gallery.