Labin, September 29, 2023 – Slovenian Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious) has won the fourth stage of this year’s CRO Race, which ran from Krk to Labin at a total length of 191 kilometres.
Just after the start of the “queens’s stage” in the town of Krk, Italian Mirco Maestri (Eolo-Kometa) kicked off the front and was joined by Norwegian Jonas Abrahamsen (Uno-X) and Czech Michal Schuran (ATT Investments). The three breakaway riders pulled ahead to a maximum of 3:20 over the peloton, snatching up all the bonus points at the intermediate sprints in Malinska and Viškovo. Maestri was first across the line ahead of Abrahamsen and Schuran.
The breakaway held until the very top of the climb up Učka, which was taken by Abrahamsen with roughly fifty metres over Schuran in second and Maestri in third; the peloton crested the top with riders from Jayco AlUla at the front, swallowing up the breakaway shortly thereafter. First across the line at the Afrići climb was German Jonas Rapp (Hrinkow Advarics) ahead of Italian Andrea Pietrobon (Eolo-Kometa), with Abrahamsen slipping into third.
The intermediate sprint at Pazin saw a battle between GC contenders for bonus points. First place and three bonus seconds were won by Englishman Ethan Hayter (INEOS Grenadiers); second place and two seconds went to Italian Nicolò Parisini (Q36.5); third place and one second went to Parisini’s countryman Nicolò Buratti (Bahrain Victorious). The climb to Lindar followed, with Rapp once again taking the maximum points. Abrahamsen, although second over the line, took enough points to put him in the green climber’s jersey; Dane Christopher Juul-Jensen (Jayco-AlUla) took third.
Spaniard Roger Adria (Kern-Pharma) was first over the line on the first pass across the finish line at the top of the climb into the old town of Labin, ahead of Australian Lucas Plapp (INEOS Grenadiers) and Brit Oscar Onley (dsm-firmenich).
Mohorič’s crash in Sinj apparently hasn’t slowed him down; after 4 hours and 48 minutes of racing, he was first over the beautiful finish line in Labin after a 400-metre cobbled climb.
“I wanted to show my dedication and determination with a stage win. My team supported me up to the bottom of the final climb with no issues. I knew I could take the win if space opened up for me on the final sprint,” stated Mohorič.
Despite only taking second place, American Magnus Sheffield (INEOS Grenadiers) has moved into first place in the general classification. Sheffield finished the stage just behind Mohorič, with Venezuelan Orluis Alberto Aular (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) coming in third just two metres back.
Two days out from the end of the race, Sheffield leads the general classification with one second over second-placed Aular, with Englishman Ethan Hayter (INEOS Grenadiers) in third place, four seconds down on his teammate. Sheffield has also taken the leading spot and the white jersey in the best young rider classification. Dane Tobias Andresen (dsm-firmenich) remains in the blue points jersey, while the green king of the mountains jersey has been taken by Norwegian Jonas Abrahamsen (Uno-X).
At the start of stage four, the riders were greeted by mayor of Krk Darijo Vasilić, Island of Krk Tourist Board director Majda Šale, City of Krk Tourist Board director Ivana Kovačić, and Andrea Čutul Orlić director of the Omišalj-Njivice Municipality Tourist Board.
Upon crossing the finish line, the riders were met by Istria County head Boris Miletić, deputy head of Istria County Tulio Demetlika, mayor of Labin Valter Glavičić, Labin Tourist Board director Astrid Glavičić, and Central Istria Tourist Board director Sanja Kantaruti.
Stage five is scheduled to start on Saturday, 30 September in Crikvenica at 10:05 AM and will finish in Ozalj; the riders are expected to arrive in Ozalj between 2:41 and 3:10 PM.
If you use photos from the folder entitled Mario Stiehl photography, please credit them to Mario Stiehl; photographs taken from the folder entitled Luis Angel Gomez should be credited to Luis Gomez/Sprint Cycling Agency.More information about the race, teams, cyclists, etc. will be available on the official sites on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.