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Friday, 15 April 2016

2nd Annual "Tour Of Croatia" Cycling Stage Races To Be Broadcast To 54 Countries Starting April 19, 2016







Nearing the final sprint lap during Tour of Croatia 2015 through the old quarter section of the city of Zagreb. Over 15 million viewers in 54 countries will be watching the races live in 2016. All photos seen below are from the 2015 Tour of Croatia.





Well, even if you’re not a cycling fan or cyclist, last year’s very first Tour of Croatia was a huge success and this years edition is expected to be even better. This is a pretty cool event that hardly anyone knows about, and I remember when they were only planning to organize it about 2 years ago. There have been various cycling racing events already going back to even the early 20th century, but this newer one has a much more international flavour with world cycling elite comparable to a Croatian version of the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia or Vuelta a España and other UCI World Tour stage races. The first stage of the race for this years 2nd edition will start in the northeastern city of Osijek on April 19, 2016.

Live broadcasts of the 2015 Tour of Croatia by Eurosport, Croatian Radio Television (HRT) and other participating TV channels were watched by 15 million viewers in 54 countries and this year Eurosport executives are expecting those numbers to grow even further.










Along with Eurosport, the race will once again be broadcast by Croatian Radio Television (HRT) as well as other TV stations from Europe, South, and North America, Africa, Asia and Australia and New Zealand. There were 5 stages last year, but this year there will be 6 stages including over 1000 kilometres distance travelled by the racers, passing through 12 host cities and more than 100 different sites, as well as almost 10 hours of live TV broadcast beamed around the world.



Race stages:

1. Osijek – Varaždin (259 km)
2. NP Plitvice – Split (249 km)
3. Makarska – Šibenik (193 km)
4. Crikvenica – Učka (156 km)
5. Pula – Umag (162 km)
6. Sveti Martin na Muri - Zagreb (160 km)



Tour of Croatia 2016 racing stages starting and finishing points.




Last year’s press images and televised footage proved to be extremely popular as they provided fans of this sport from all corners of the world with not only coverage of the races, but also views and information about the country and culture also. (While doing this post I got sidetracked for a while and watched footage of a few of the race stages, you can find complete full videos of the different stages of the races floating around, there's also some good Tour de France crashes compilation videos) There are some really cool areal views of the race in the wider open spaces and as the racers battle for position through the city and older cobbled roads section of cities and towns, through cities, plains, mountains, by waterfalls, old castles and fortresses, just an overall really interesting event that all the fans watching on the sidelines seem to really enjoy too.









I personally also like the fact that this Tour of Croatia racing event was spread all across the country and not just focused on the usually more popular summer coastal areas, the stage races don't belong to just one specific city or town, hence the name "Tour of Croatia" which makes perfect sense. As seen on the above map, the races start right from the north eastern city of Osijek, then straight through to the northwestern tip town of Vȁraždīn, later from Sv. Martin into Zagreb, as well as the other locations along the coast.

Like I said at my Swatch Red Bull FIVB Beach Volleyball post a few days ago, these are the types of events the country should keep organizing. Besides, there's a hole lot worse things to be coming or crawling into your country these days or things to organize, (you just have to read or watch the news, plenty of religious subversives, mind-control cults and anti-civilizational anarchist guru types also trying to permeate various countries, and that's on top of various subversive fashions and just pointless fuckos etc)











This year there will be 6 stages including 20 teams representing Switzerland, United States, Poland, Croatia, Slovenia, Russia, Italy, Great Britain, Austria, Netherlands, Belgium, Israel and more.

There will also be even more prominent riders this time, Team Wiggins is led by Sir Bradley Wiggins, the winner of the 2012 Tour de France and a 2012 Olympic gold medallist. Also showing up will be Mark Cavendish. He won 26 Tour de France stages and the 2011 Road World Championships, holds a points classification in all three of the grand tours, the 2010 Vuelta a España, the 2011 Tour de France, and the 2013 Giro d'Italia. Recently, he won a third world championship title at the 2016 UCI Track Cycling World Championships. He also won the 2011 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award. All this will make him a top contender for this year’s Tour of Croatia.

Maciej Paterski of CCC Sprandi Polkowice was the winner of the very first Tour of Croatia last year and will be looking to repeat. The Croatian Meridiana - Kamen Team is back again with gained experience and 8 Croatian riders in total, Radoslav Rogina, David Jabuka, Emanuel Kišerlovski, Mateo Franković, Paolo Rigo, Bruno Maltar, Matija Kvasina and Josip Rumac will be representing their respective teams. It should all amount to some great racing and action over the span of 6 days. A number of the riders will be using this Tour of Croatia stage races as a preparation for the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France which takes place later in July. (For more detailed information about the individual teams click HERE)












You can watch live streams of the races at HRTi, Eurosport and a bunch of other places I came across, but if you don't have the time to watch live you can also keep up to date on results and daily happenings at:

https://www.facebook.com/TourOfCroatia2015

www.flickr.com/photos/tourofcroatia

www.instagram.com/tourofcroatia


More information about the teams, locations, routes, plans for future Tour of Croatia events and other media at the Tour of Croatia official website: www.tourofcroatia.com.


Anyway, below are some video highlights from last year, and this year it's expected to be even more full of thrills, spills, chills and more than 15 million viewers from around the world.





Related: wikipedia.org/2015_Tour_of_Croatia

Tour of Croatia 2015 Final results: www.procyclingstats.com/race/Tour_of_Croatia_2015

www.hbs.hr/reprezentacija




A few Tour of Croatia 2015 highlights, more video footage from 2015 at www.youtube.com/tourofcroatia













The official promo for the 2016 Tour of Croatia stage races.




These last 3 show some of the things I was talking about. Sometimes these races can be like a chase scene out of Mad Max, racers will think they're out of camera view then pull out chains and sharp object to slash the other racer's tires or crack their helmet causing crashes, it can get really interesting sometimes. Last years stage 2 from Šibenik to Zadar.




Final kilometers of stage 1 from Makarska to Split.




 Parts of the 5th and last stage finishing in Zagreb.




This last one is an example of what I was talking about earlier, in this example scenes from the Tour de France which show that it's not all just glory, scenic images, victory champagne spraying and having your name engraved for posterity. The races always start whether the roads are wet and it's raining or not. Horrible unexpected tragedies, broken limbs, spilled blood, twisted cycle parts all over the place and untold suffering also takes place many times during the quest for the leader's jersey in world class cycling stage races unfortunately.







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