Domination of Bahrain – Merida team on Tour of Croatia continues. The Bahrain team has every reason for celebration after the fifth, queen stage, which took place on Saturday from Rabac (Labin) to Poklon on Učka in a length of 156.5 kilometers. Manuele Boaro has convincingly won at the climb to Poklon, while Kanstantsin Siutsou followed with ease Pieter Weening of Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij, the closest cyclist in the overall ranking, thus preserving eight seconds of advantage over the Dutch. Other top positions of the overall ranking remained unchanged, so the Croatian representative Radoslav Rogina of Adria Mobil kept the fourth place. Boaro's time at the top of Učka was 4h14: 54.
“At the beginning of the stage, I went in a breakaway with other 17 riders. The pace of the race was very strong in first climbs. I made breakaway so we could protect our overall lead rider Kanstantsin Suitsou. I managed to stay in breakaway whole day until last climb in Nature park Učka. When we received information that we have 2min advantage over peloton, we tried to push ourselves until the end of the stage. Also, I received information from team radio that Kanstantsin Suitsou is in good position and then I decided I will try to win the stage. We came to Tour of Croatia race to make good preparation for upcoming Giro d`Italia. Earlier in the year, we were also here at training camp so we know local roads very well. Tomorrow is the last stage, we will try to keep everything under control in the front of the peloton and we will see what will happen”, Boaro explained after the race.
The last, 151.5 kilometer long stage from Samobor to Zagreb on Sunday might offer some uncertainty because the difference between the two leading cyclists is not significant.
Photography at: https://toc.iwert.com/data/photo/2018/stage_5/