Primošten, September 25, 2023 – The eighth edition of the CRO Race international cycling race, which will be held from 26 September to 1 October, was presented today at a press conference in Primošten. In addition to the organisers, race director Vladimir Miholjević and race technical director Luka Mišović, cyclists Fran Miholjević and last year’s CRO Race winner Matej Mohorič—both from team Bahrain Victorious—also took part in the conference.
Last year, a dramatic finish saw Mohorič eke out a win over current Tour de France winner Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) from Denmark, with bonus seconds pushing him just one second ahead of Vingegaard in the general classification.
“This year, there is no such clear comeptitor in the race. Other WorldTour teams are bringing very young riders who have yet to attain their best results, so CRO Race will serve as a place for them to temper their talents. Only during the race will we see who will become the biggest competitor. We came to this race with a strong team and we have the strength to win, both in sprint stages and in the GC,” said Mohorič, who also noted that his main goal was to defend his race title, which would make him the first rider in CRO Race history to do so.
As 29-year-old Mohorič himself admits, this season has been the best in his career. In July, he won a stage at the Tour de France, only to continue his excellent form in August with a GC win at the week-long Tour of Poland and a stage win at the Benelux Tour.
“This has been the best season in my career. In spring, I had no luck at the two most important one-day races for me, Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix, where I crashed in a key moment and wasn’t able to get the result I wanted. But I came to the Tour in great form, and I managed to keep on form in the races to follow. These results have motivated me to try to make it to the spring classics next season in top form and compete for a place on the podium, and if things go right, maybe even win”, added Mohorič.
In addition to Mohorič, like last year, Bahrain Victorious’s squad for CRO Race will also include Fran Miholjević, the only Croatian rider on a WorldTour team. Miholjević was also with Mohorič in early August this year at the Tour of Poland, where he helped him to the GC win. This will be 21-year-old Miholjević’s first full season on a WorldTour team. In addition to Miholjević, one more Croat will also be competing at CRO Race this year—Viktor Potočki (Ljubljana Gusto Santic).
“I can be happy with my season. I showed myself and my team that I’m ready for this level of racing. As far as the race itself goes, we have Mohorič on our squad, a rider who has proven to be one of the best in the world. We hope our battle for the GC will be easier this year than last year, but there isn’t a single stage where we can completely relax as a team,” Miholjević announced.
At the presentation of the stages, race technical director Luka Mišović emphasised that the first stage, from Primošten to Sinj, could differentiate among the candidates for the general classification.
“The first stage from Primošten to Sinj could be extremely difficult, as there is likely to be a break on the climb up Klis. The second stage, which starts in Biograd, will be very fast and short, with the first island finish in Novalja. Another short, mixed stage follows from Otočac to Opatija, while the fourth stage from Krk to Labin is what we like to call the ‘queen stage’ because of the climb up Učka. Starting in Crikvenica, stage five will pass through Primorje-Gorski Kotar County and Karlovac County, finishing in Ozalj. The final, sixth stage from Samobor to Zagreb will be completely flat, with a new finish line at the National and University Library, which will make it especially spectacular,” said Mišović.
“The idea behind CRO Race arose from a deep love of cycling and the belief that Croatia deserves an international sporting event of this calibre. Since the very beginning, it was obvious that the project had enormous potential. Now, after eight editions of the race, we can proudly say that much of this potential has been realised, opening new avenues for the race to develop further. It is important to note that cyclists like Primož Roglič and Tadej Pogačar competed at CRO Race before they became world-famous. This year’s race will also feature cyclists who will soon achieve spectacular international success,” stated race director Vladimir Miholjević.
If you use photos from the folder entitled Mario Stiehl photography, please credit them to Mario Stiehl.More information about the race, teams, cyclists, etc. will be available on the official sites on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.