Phil Bauhaus avoided a penalty when sprinting to victory in the opening stage of the six-day CRO Race on Tuesday.
The Bahrain Victorious rider appeared to impede Olav Kooij just before the finish line, but the result stood as the German claimed his seventh bunch-sprint win of the season.
“I don’t think there’s anything to complain about there,” Jacob Tipper said on Eurosport’s commentary.
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“He does come across him but he’s taking the shortest line with the road swinging round to the right. He squeezed him a little bit, but he’s not interfering, it’s a pretty fair first and second place.”
The 237km opening stage went from Osijek to Varazdin, and was predominantly flat bar the category three climb with 40m to go.
Poland’s Marceli Boguslawski (HRE Mazowsze Serce Polski) was part of a five-man breakaway, and come the climb he held a 50-second lead over a chasing pack of four riders, with the peloton a minute further behind.
That lead evaporated in the space of 15 minutes, however, and with 27km to go even the peloton had caught Boguslawski to set up a grandstand finish.
Funda Ciclis Eusk duo Xabier Mikel Azparren and Luis Angel Mate then attempted a two-man charge for the finish line, but this did not last long.

Top 10 - Opening stage of CRO Race

Image credit: Eurosport

The end result was a sprint finish down the narrow streets of Varazdin, with Bauhaus crossing in first ahead of Kooij and escaping any punishment.
Wednesday’s 187km second stage is from Slunj to Otocac and features two category two climbs.
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