The Venezuelan from Caja Rural, Orluis Aular, was proclaimed champion of the Tour of Croatia this Sunday, despite having a big scare in the final kilometer of the last stage, which ended in the capital, Zagreb, where he suffered a resounding fall that prevented him from fighting for the decisive sprint.
Aular entered the finish line sore, but was able to celebrate his final victory over Alexander Kristoff, who was second in the stage, surpassed by the New Zealander Campbell Stewart, from the Jayco Alula team, while the third place of the day was won by the Slovenian Gal Glivar ( Adria Mobil).
Aular’s victory in the Croatian CRO Race, whose leadership he gained on Saturday by winning the fifth and penultimate day. The 26-year-old rider made good his advantage despite suffering a hard fall in the last 200 meters, when he was fighting for the stage victory, which caused a severe blow to his jaw.
He was able to get up and cross the finish line helped by his teammates to seal his sixth individual victory and the sixteenth for his team this season. In the general classification, Orluis Aular’s victory was achieved with a 3-second advantage over Kristoff and 7 seconds over the British Ethan Hayter (INEOS Grenadiers).
“From the first moment the objective was to win the race with Orluis. We had analyzed the route and we knew that the bonuses were going to be fundamental, that is why in the first stage we already bet on him, taking a few seconds off him,” said Technical Director José Miguel. Fernández, from Caja Rural.
“From the third day we knew that we had to focus on Orluis and the fight for bonuses to fight for the general classification, with a great performance by the Venezuelan especially in the fifth stage that took the victory. In addition, the team has worked of ten, like in the fifth stage when from kilometer zero they set a pace on the first climb that reduced the group and surely could have taken its toll on the rivals in the final part.”
“In this last stage the objective was to clear the bonuses, and thanks to getaways in which the rivals did not pose any danger to the general classification, we were able to avoid the fight of the peloton and consider the finish as a new sprint opportunity for Orluis. We We are going with a valuable victory that is bittersweet due to the fall but that demonstrates the level of Orluis and the entire team to close a great season for Caja Rural – Seguros RGA.”