Season ends on a high in Croatia with Peron breaking the top ten

Sport director Gennady Mikhaylov:

“We ended on a positive note today and that’s satisfying. It was important for us to end the season in a good way and we’ve had some solid results in recent weeks with Andrea and David so to finish with top ten in eighth place on the final stage here in Zagreb is great and I’m happy with that.”

“The guys knew what was at stake today and they all worked hard for one objective and that was the sprint with Andrea and a top ten placing. To see them achieve their goal through unified and selfless teamwork definitely put smile on my face.

“Filippo has been very consistent in his first race with us and the guys have all embraced him as a teammate immediately and that bodes well for the future. It wasn’t an easy race for him to race as a stagiaire, but he has done well and quietly impressed. Now onwards to 2022, we have some work to do in the off-season, but we can now do that with some high aspirations after an affirming result to go home with.”

Andrea Peron:

“I was feeling really good today. Yesterday I tried to save some gas and take it a little bit easy and I think that paid off. It’s right at the end, but I’m back to where I used to be, in the top ten and smiling at the end of a race.”

“It’s definitely a good way to end the season and hugely important for us and our moral to get this result. This year has been so tough, and we have been banging on the door, coming close, but not quite getting there and today we managed to kick the door in and get the result we were aiming for.”

“I think we’re all tired now, but we go away happy and head into the off season ready for a break and with some things to work on as a team over the winter that will hopefully set us up for a good start in 2022.”

Filippo Ridolfo:

“It’s been a great experience racing with the professionals here at CRO-Race and even though it has been a shock to my system, I am happy that I came through and managed to finish the race and help the guys to a positive result to end the season with. The level is super high, there’s no doubt about that and having this race in my legs now will be a real benefit for me and my development.”

— Tim Lindley to www.teamnovonordisk.com

Late crash takes out Peron’s chances on stage 4 in Croatia

Sports director Gennady Mikhaylov:

“Another top 20 today with Andrea and we are certainly consistent in that regard, but we were aiming higher and for the work we put in we deserved more. You can’t do anything about the crash, it happened right in front of him and he did well to stay upright.”

“The guys were positioned much better today, and this morning’s team talk obviously had some effect, but our first target was to get in the breakaway and we didn’t.”

“That needs addressing. Today was a perfect opportunity and we tried to make it into the early move, then stopped. As we stopped the right move went and we weren’t there, and we need to work on that. You should be going three or four times, all our guys apart from Andrea as the sprinter, trying to get an attack going, but we didn’t try hard enough, and we will speak about that.”

Andrea Peron:

“Man. I can’t believe it. That was the best position I’ve been in for maybe the last two seasons. I was top ten inside the last km and the third wheel went down in front of me and I had to start from scratch. I couldn’t do anything about it, and I was so frustrated when we crossed the line.”

“I want more than top 20, and we want more than that as a team. We worked better today as a unit and we were together until deeper into the stage, but we only have two more opportunities left in 2021 – tomorrow and Sunday. It’s going to be hard, especially tomorrow with the climb, but we will try to get a top ten finish before this race and our season is over.”

— Tim Lindley to www.teamnovonordisk.com

Three down three to go in Croatia

Sports director Gennady Mikhaylov:

“We saw the first movements from the GC riders today, it was a regular pace until the final 20kilometers when we hit the first real climb of the race so far and then the protagonists started to show themselves and the speed increased.”

“Although we tried to keep David and Andrea up there as long as possible, the tiredness kicked in and they lost contact halfway up the ascent. The group reformed somewhat on the descent, but the rest of the peloton was split, and Andrea and Sam were the first over the line for us with David and Filippo not too far behind.”

Andrea Peron:

“I couldn’t stay with the leaders today, they set a really fast pace up the climb and that’s where we fell back. We wanted to try and work for David and maybe myself if we could hold on for the sprint, but it was too punchy, too fast and I didn’t have the legs today.”

Hamish Beadle:

“I started to get some knee pain when I raced with the devo’s in the Czech Republic earlier this month. I saw the physio when I was back home in between racing, and I was feeling a lot better. Stage one I was buzzing. Then we started going uphill and going uphill pretty fast.”

“We’re professional bike riders and we want to race, I’m no different and even though I’m getting some pain from my left knee again, I want to work for the boys and finish this race. The staff are doing a great job of supporting us every day and the swannies are really working me over every night to give me every chance to recover for the next stage. Three down. Three to go.”

— Tim Lindley to www.teamnovonordisk.com

Groves & Yates headline Team BikeExchange at the Tour of Croatia hunting late season wins – Team BikeExchange

Team BikeExchange are in Croatia ready for the six-day CRO race starting on Tuesday, 28th September with Giro d’Italia podium finisher Simon Yates back in action and looking for a high overall showing in the last phase of the 2021 season.

The mixed seven-rider team includes recent Tour of Slovakia prologue winner Kaden Groves, who will give the squad a strong option for the flatter, fast stages and will be supported by Ethiopian rider Tsgabu Grmay, Australian powerhouses Callum Scotson and Michael Hepburn, plus Kazakh climber Andrey Zeits.

Olympic team pursuit bronze medalist, Australian rider Kelland O’Brien, will join Team BikeExchange at the CRO race as as stagiaire rider for the remainder of the 2021 season.

With a varied parcours, the team head into the six-day race with a two-pronged approach, as Yates leads the team’s overall classification ambitions, while fast finisher Groves looks to throw his arms in the air in some of the potential sprint finishes.

Team BikeExchange at the Tour of Croatia:
Kaden Groves (AUS)
Michael Hepburn (AUS)
Kelland O’Brien (AUS) Stagiaire*
Callum Scotson
Grmay Tsgabu (ETH)
Simon Yates (GBR)
Andrey Zeits (KAZ)

Kaden Groves

“I am really looking forward to the Tour of Croatia, we have a good team which can target both of our goals, the overall and stage wins. My condition is really good and I’m expecting it to be even better now having some race exposure after a long time off racing due to injury. 

Having Kell O’Brian with us in the team is also a big plus, he brings a lot of horsepower and it’ll be a good experience for him to ride with us in this final part of the season as a stagiaire.

It will be my first time racing in Croatia but having looked at the stages I am confident in our team and I am keen to get on the start line.”

Matt White – Head Sport Director
“We are all excited about heading back to CRO Tour. Our last trip resulted in a win for former rider Adam Yates, back in 2019 and this year we head back with similar ambitions.

We have a well-rounded team with Kaden Groves as our fast man and Simon Yates for the tougher, hillier stages. The tour has a bit for everyone, and we are looking to finish off the 2021 season strong.”

2021 Tour of Croatia Race Details:
Tuesday, 28th September: Stage 1, Osijek to Varazdin, 237km
Wednesday, 29th September: Stage 2, Slujn to Otocac, 187km
Thursday, 30th September: Stage 3, Rimosten to Makarska, 167km
Friday, 1st October: Stage 4, Zadar to Crikvenica, 197km
Saturday, 2nd October: Stage 5, Rabac/Labin to Opatija, 137.5km
Sunday, 3rd October: Stage 6, Samobor to Zagreb, 156.5km 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

— Team BikeExchange to www.greenedgecycling.com