The upcoming eight edition of the international cycling race, CRO Race, will take place from September 26 to October 1 2023. It will host twenty cycling teams from Europe, Asia, America and Australia. As a part of the six stages, cyclists will cover nearly 1,000 kilometers along a route that traditionally connects the coast with the inland. The route will pass through eight countries and the city of Zagreb, encompassing both familiar and completely new destinations. Judging by the atmosphere and impressions of past seasons, excitement will certainly not be lacking this year either, as the participation of top teams and cyclists is the perfect recipe for a dynamic race and a suspenseful battle for victory.
The race organizer is TOP SPORT EVENTS, a company known for consistently maintaining high quality standards and establishing this project as a recognizable and acclaimed sporting spectacle. On the other hand, it is essential to emphasize the equally strong tourism potential that the race generates. “CRO Race represents a significant and substantial project in both the sports and tourism sectors, as it showcases all the splendors of the continent and he coastline on the global stage. We’ve put in considerable effort to ensure that these eight editions are just as exciting and appealing to visitors and viewers worldwide. We have the honor, I’d even say the privilege, to use this unique project to promote Croatia in over 190 countries around the world, thus contributing to its positioning as a desirable destination with offerings that facilitate sustainable year-round tourism”, stated Vladimir Miholjević, a celebrated Croatian cyclist and the director of TOP SPORT EVENTS, the company that has successfully organized and executed all previous editions of the race.
Just like previous years, the race will be broadcast daily by the Croatian Radiotelevision, with live coverage also being aired on Eurosport. Thanks to a collaboration with the company A.S.O., the television signal will reach six continents – Europe, North and South America, Asia, Africa and Australia – spanning across a total of 190 countries. “I am grateful to all governmental institutions, counties, partners and sponsors who are also motivated to demonstrate to the world our readiness to host the event at such a high competitive level. This shows that we are a nation striving for sporting achievements and capable of astonishing the entire world with our natural beauty and heritage”, emphasized Miholjević.
The sporting segment of the race will maintain its high standards this year as well, with the expected participation of several top world teams from both the UCI WorldTeams and ProTeams categories. Additionally, the inclusion of the race in the UCI calendar and its classification as a 2.1-rated event is the best affirmation of the status that CRO Race holds within the cycling world. It is sufficient to glance at the list of teams, which is equally impressive as in previous years. For example, BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, INEOS GRENADIERS, LIDL-TREK, TEAM DSM, TEAM JAYCO ALULA and UEA TEAM EMIRATES are just a few of the top global teams that have confirmed their participation. This lineup strongly reminds us why the competition for victory has been so intense over the years. Speaking of individual names, renowned and well-loved cycling aces such as Mark Cavendish, Vincenzo Nibali, Adam Yates, Jonas Vingegaard and Primož Roglič have participated in previous editions, showcasing how fierce the competition for the top sport truly is. With the confirmed teams for this year, we can also expect to see the most prominent names from the world of cycling.
The starting and finishing points of each stage are well-known locations – picturesque towns, municipalities and counties that are eagerly expecting the arrival of participants and visitors. Unlike the previous edition which began in the eastern part of Croatia, this year’s first stage will take place between Primošten and Sinj (185 km). The second stage will stretch from Biograd na Moru to Novalja (119.5 km), while the third stage will connect Otočac and Opatija (133.5 km). The fourth stage, also the longest one, will span from Krk to Labin (191 km). Crikvenica and Ozalj will be the starting point and finish line for the fifth stage (188 km). Finally, the traditional sixth stage will run from Samobor to Zagreb (159 km). This year’s last stage will finish up at a new location, by the fountains in front of the National and University Library. As evident from the stage list, the eight edition of CRO Race will also venture onto the islands this years. Novalja has thus become the first island-based endpoint. Additionally, apart from Pag, cyclists will traverse Krk which will host the start of the fifth stage, thereby becoming the first island-based starting host in the history of the race. Of course, between the stages spectators can expect consistently dynamic and technically demanding sections, as well as thrilling sprints for bonus seconds.
In addition to presenting the allure of professional cycling to the audience, CRO Race also brings a series of accompanying activities. Particularly noteworthy is the fourth edition of the Kids CRO Race, a race for children on virtual trainers. With such activity the organizers aim to encourage young individuals to engage in recreation and sports while also promoting benefits that a healthy life brings to society and individuals. This project is carried out in collaboration with schools, and the overall winner will be announced on the main stage in Zagreb on October 1. Furthermore, considering the increasingly unfavorable climate impact, cycling serves as an excellent opportunity to promote low-carbon, non-invasive, and sustainable transportation.
CRO Race not only significantly promotes cycling as a sport but also, by highlighting the natural beauty and cultural heritage, showcases Croatia and positions it as one of the most attractive cycling tourism destinations in the world. As a result, numerous cities and municipalities have become essential stops for those who practice active vacations, and considerable number of people have even begun to adjust their free time according to the race date. Is there a better tourist postcard than the one sent by a guest who satisfy his curious nature through the products and services of a destination he visited?
More details about the stages, intermediate goals, and passage times will be announced at a press conference which will be held soon. Currently, technical preparations are being finalized, and coordination with police departments and the police headquarters is ongoing to implement the project. Just like every year, there will be special traffic regulations in effect during the race.