A late attack in the final meters steals the win ahead of Giacomo in stage two.
Giacomo Nizzolo bettered his fifth place in stage one with a second-place finish in a neutralized-shortened stage two in the Tour of Croatia Wednesday.
High winds forced the organizers to stop and neutralize the race through a long descent and restart the race with around 40 kilometers to go.
After the slowdown, the peloton hit the final circuit with renewed energy and the high speed coupled with tricky city streets made a treacherous ending to the 234-kilometer race.
“It was a crazy stage today, with the wind and the downhill neutralized and then we started full gas for the final 30kms,” explained Nizzolo. “The final circuit was tricky – and slippery – and I was all the way to the front behind (Team) Bardiani who pulled full with two laps to go.”
In the final lap, a gutsy solo attack by Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida) almost worked, but the Slovenian was finally brought back with a kilometer to go, and it was a crafty move by Eduard Michael Grosu (Nippo-Vini Fantini), who jumped away in the final meters, that paid off with a win.
“Bardiani were taken by surprise when Mohoric attacked, and then I waited for them and then [at the end] Grosu took the gap,” continued Nizzolo. “When I started my sprint, I was gaining meters but not enough to catch him before the finish.”
A few crashes in the final circuit marred the outcome for some. Race leader and stage one winner Niccolo Bonifazio (Bahrain-Merida) fell with four kilometers remaining and finished well behind, and a late crash in the last corners caused gaps in the peloton with a small group arriving ahead of the rest to contest the finish.
Nizzolo, smartly in the front, avoided the carnage and was placed perfectly for the final sprint until a well-timed attack by Grosu spoiled his chance for victory.
“I had good legs and improved from yesterday. I was probably the fastest today, but Grosu chose the right time to go – congratulations to him,” ended Giacomo, tipping his hat to the Romanian rider.