Kristijan Durasek (UAE Team Emirates) claimed the second stage of the Tour of Croatia Wednesday, arriving at the summit finish atop the Biokovo finishing climb ahead of Caja Rural’s Jaime Roson and Bahrain Merida’s Vincenzo Nibali.
Durasek jumped clear of a select group of GC contenders inside the last few hundred metres. The 29-year-old old Croatian never opened a gap of more than a few bike lengths, but he held his advantage all the way to the line to take the win and the race lead in his home race.
After the morning break was caught on the early slopes of the climb, the long ascent to the finish high above the Adriatic Sea saw the peloton whittled down to just a handful of riders as it made its way into the closing kilometres.
Nibali tried to get clear with a little under two kilometres left to race, putting in a big dig on the high gradients that seemed promising at first. He was unable to open up much of a gap, however, with Roson responding quickly and the rest of the group in tow, ultimately shutting down the attempt.
Durasek made his move a kilometre later as the survivors at the front of the race rounded the final corners. Though several rivals responded quickly to close down his attack, he held off the rest of the lead group to nab the victory.
More to follow
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