Race: Tour of Croatia, stage 6
Start/Finish: Samobor/Zagreb, Croatia
Distance: 151 kilometers
ZAGREB, CROATIA — David Lozano finished in the top 20 overall at the 2018 Tour of Croatia on Sunday with help and assistance from his teammates Andrea Peron and Umberto Poli on the final stage of the race.
On a hot day in Croatia, Poli and Peron protected Lozano’s position in the peloton from sudden attacks by rival teams as the race left nearby Samobor for a fast loop around the capital city. Poli and Peron each took turns carrying water and food back from the team car and closed down gaps in the bunch over cobblestone hills in the city center.
Local children’s diabetes group ‘Slatki Samoborci’ showed up in great number at the start to greet their cycling heroes before the race, presenting handmade gifts to each of the members of the world’s first all-diabetes cycling team. Kids as young as 3 years old joined with teenagers to talk with the riders and ask for autographs as Team Novo Nordisk gave each member of the group souvenirs and posed for photographs.
Lozano stuck with the race leaders into the final hill, finishing atop the leaderboard in the 2018 Tour of Croatia with strong results against top global cycling teams. Peron and Poli each came in to the finish to join the Spanish rider for a celebration with local diabetes patients on Zagreb’s historic city square on a beautiful Spring day in Croatia.
“It was a challenging week. We finished the week with just three riders, because of crashes and illness. But it’s cycling and we did a good job. We started the day with David in a good GC position, and the goal was to try and improve. We achieved our goal, and next year we hope to do even better.”
Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team, will next race in Spain at the Vuelta Aragon in May.
1st: Paolo Simion (Bardiani – CSF) : 3:21:39
2nd: Mirco Maestri (Bardiani – CSF): 0:11 behind Simion
3rd: Eduard Grosu (Nippo – Vini Fantini – Europa Ovini) : 0:25 behind Simion
20th: David Lozano: 0:35 behind Simion (17th in general classification)
(Photos: © Mario Stiehl / René Vigneron)