— La Flamme Rouge (@laflammerouge16) 19 April 2018
Riders in the breakaway at the Tour of Croatia’s stage three on Thursday were forced to take evasive action as a van began to reverse out on to the course.
Footage shows the five riders in the break on the 134km stage from Trogir to Biokovo fortunately spotting the van beginning to move and were able to swerve out of the way to avoid it.
Nicolai Brøchner (Holowesko -Citadel) was the closest to colliding with the vehicle, riding at the front of the group before clearly only spotting it late.
The five breakaway riders were on the foothills of the special category summit finish of the race, which was eventually won by Kanstantsin Siutsou (Bahrai-Merida), who also takes over the overall lead with three stages remaining.
The race has so far featured two sprint finish stages, the first won by Siutsou’s team-mate Niccolo Bonifazio, and the second won by Eduard Grosu (Nippo-Vini Fantini). But both stages have been memorable for incidents other than the racing.
Stage one was blighted by horrendous rain for the most part, with the slick Croatian roads proving treacherous with a coating of water. What didn’t help though was the sharp bend just after the finish line, which saw Bonifazio forced to brake hard and slide towards the barriers, fortunately stopping unhurt.
Wednesday’s stage two saw a large proportion of the race neutralised. High winds off the category two climb of the day saw the race postponed and riders safely navigate their way to the bottom, only recommencing the race with around 30km to go. Aqua Blue Sport rider Peter Koning, who had gone on a solo breakaway on the climb, was then allowed to re-establish his gap after the race restarted.
The Tour of Croatia continues until Sunday, with another summit finish on the cards on stage five.