30 Sep 2023

Mohoric wins Queen’s stage at CRO Race

Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS lined up for the CRO Race with Matej Mohoric as the defending overall winner. But due to a crash, he could not avoid the goal of repeating this feat, which was off the table after the first of six stages. Mohoric reset his focus, and after having finished stage 3 in 3rd, he sprinted to the win in the Queen’s stage of this race.

One year ago, Matej Mohoric secured the overall win at the CRO Race on the last day by first winning the intermediate sprint and then sprinting to 2nd in the roads of Zagreb, edging out Tour de France winner Jonas Vingegaard. In his bid for a repeat, Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS sent a selection of young riders to Croatia: Apart from Rainer Kepplinger, all riders in support of Matej Mohoric were younger than 25 years with Niccolo Buratti, Matevz Govekar, Filip Maciejuk, Fran Miholjevic and Johan Price Pejtersen. But a repeat of the overall win was out of reach after the opening stage as Matej Mohoric was brought down in the frantic finale when a crash occurred at the sharp end of the race and lost precious time on the final six kilometres.

Meanwhile, Matevz GOvekar sprinted to top 10 results in the first two stages, and Niccolo Buratti scored a 6th place in the opening stage. Throughout stage 3, Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS showed a strong collective performance, and Matej Mohoric showed that he still was racing with plenty of ambition for a stage win by finishing in 3rd. In the Queen's stage, with an aggregate of 3600 meters of ascending ridden the following day, the riders in red, orange and black again took charge of things. The fight for the stage win came down to the steep final climb in Labin. Matej Mohoric timed his acceleration to perfection on the cobblestones, crossing the finish line as the day's winner.

With this success, Matej Mohoric pulled off the feat of winning a stage in all of the five stage races that he has competed in as of late. After winning the conclusive stage of the Tour of Slovenia, he followed up with stage wins at the Tour de France, the Tour de Pologne, the Renewi Tour and now the CRO Race held in Croatia. Before the final two sprinter-friendly stages of this race, Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS has two riders in the top 20 on GC, with Rainer Kepplinger in 18th and Niccolo Buratti in 20th. The best 12 riders on GC currently are separated by less than ten seconds.

1. Matej Mohoric, SVN/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, in 4:48.19 hours
2. Magnus Sheffield, USA, st
3. Orluis Aular, VEN, st

1. Nicolo Parisini, ITA, in 3:01.35 hours
2. Tobias Lund Andresen, DEN, st

Photos: Sprint Cycling Agency