A Croatian triptych to resume competition and continue fighting for victory
The Kometa Cycling Team resumes the competition with a twelve-day tour of Croatia in which it will compete in three cycling events of the Europe UCI Tour held on the Istrian peninsula. Three events, two one-day races and a third stage, in which the continental formation of the Fundación Alberto Contador will debut and to which, always aware of the difficulty of the victories, it goes with the maximum ambitions.
The Umag Trophy, on the 6th, the Poreč Trophy, which takes place three days later, and the Istrian Spring Trophy, between the 14th and 17th of March, will be the three commitments for which the technical direction, confirmed by the injury of Michele Gazzoli with a fracture in his left clavicle, has foreseen the participation of Juan Camacho, Isaac Cantón, Stefano Oldani, Antonio Puppio, Diego Pablo Sevilla and Daniel Viegas.
The first date arrives on Wednesday. The Umag Trophy is a test of facing its seventh edition. Created in 2013, the route of this race is centred on a circuit without special orographic difficulties to which the runners must complete seven laps until completing an approximate mileage of 160 km.
On Saturday 9, for its part, a Trophy with more tradition will be disputed Poreč Its origins go back to the year 2000, when it saw the light as a challenge with several tests during several days that since 2004 were reduced to a single appointment of one day. With a slightly more nervous course and a mileage of around 155 kilometres, the finish line in the town of Tar is slightly upwards.
The istrio triptych will come to an end with participation in the Istrian Spring Trophy, a stage race that was first organised in 1961 and has been held uninterruptedly since then with a similar scheme of a prologue against the clock and three days in line, two of which (like the traditional finish in Labin) usually have their arrival on steep slopes. Among its most recent winners are cyclists such as Slovenian Borut Bozic, Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen or Danish Magnus Cort. In the 2018 edition, when the Norwegian Kristen Hager (winner also in Umag) won the final overall, Tadej Pogacar finished third, one of the young people who is giving more talk today after his victory in the Volta ao Algarve.
“Looking back at last year’s teams, and what kind of races they are, I find some similarities to the Tour of Normandy. And on the French roads last year we did very well. Personally, I like this kind of racing. I think I can perform well and it’s an opportunity to do well and stand out. And why not, also opt to win”, considers Juan Camacho, recovered from two crashes in the recent Tour of Antalya.
“I don’t care where I am, right now I’m really looking forward to running and showing that I’m at a good level”, jokes the Portuguese Daniel Viegas, who made his debut with the colours of the Kometa Cycling Team and the professionalism with a 69th place overall in the Vuelta a Murcia after an interesting performance during the second and most demanding stage. Antonio Puppio also took part in the Murcia round and it was the first one: “I have recovered well and I am ready for the new challenge. For the whole squad it will be a very important opportunity to return home with good results and much more self-confidence”.
Jesús Hernández, director of the Kometa Cycling Team: “We are looking forward to this Croatian tour after the team’s good performance in the Tour of Antalya, where the stage victory and the podium in the final general classification were caressed, and the good sensations left by the participation in other races with the presence of WorldTour teams. Michele’s injury has disrupted our plans a bit, but we have a very interesting team, very valid for all the race situations that we can find in the routes we are going to compete in, with a great work capacity and very capable of fighting the breakaways, where Oldani’s speed, both on the flat and in flatter finishes that sting upwards, will be an asset to be exploited. We are confident that we can do a good job”.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)