Vingegaard demonstrates good shape in first stage CRO Race
Milan Vader and Jonas Vingegaard can reflect on their comeback to racing with satisfaction. During the first stage of the CRO race, Vingegaard demonstrated that he had not lost his climbing abilities in his first appearance since winning the Tour.
The riders were treated to a 223-kilometre stage in the Croatian race. The first few hours were mostly dry, but at kilometre 180, the weather turned bad. "It suddenly started raining and blowing very hard and the temperature went down by ten degrees", sports director Marc Reef said.
Vingegaard even asked for an extra jacket because it got so cold. On the penultimate climb, Team DSM rider Oscar Onley launched an attack, but the Dane was prepared for it. Together with four others, they created a gap on the peloton, but the six were caught on the descent. "Jonas showed he is in good shape", Reef said.
Vingegaard and Koen Bouwman eventually crossed the finish line in the same time as stage winner Jonathan Milan. "We had high expectations for today's outcome. We knew it would be a tricky final, so we wanted to take advantage of that. Unfortunately, we were not the only ones who thought so."
In addition to Vingegaard, Milan Vader also made his comeback. The 26-year-old Dutchman, who crashed heavily six months ago in the Tour of the Basque Country, looked back on a special day. "It didn't disappoint me. Ultimately, I got quite cold for a while because of the rain, but I got through the day just fine", Vader said. "It felt like it hadn't been that long since I raced. It seemed like only yesterday that I was racing. That's encouraging. I enjoyed it."