Gidich ovecrcomes Croatian storms to take CRO Race 19 lead
Yevgeniy Gidich took victory for Astana at the end of a weather-affected third stage of the CRO Race 19 to leap from fourth to first and take the red jersey from Eduard-Michael Grosu.
Heavy rain and storms on the Adriatic coast saw the race neutralised, specifically because of the strong winds, and riders relocated to Brela, just 47km from the finish and the breakaway at more than two minutes clear.
Without a day of climbing in their legs, the peloton quickly reeled in the leaders and it turned into a fast-paced and technical sprint finish around the town of Makarska.
Gidich, who finished third overall in the race last year and took the young rider title, was given the perfect leadout by his team and held off Grega Bole and Alex Edmondson to take the win.
The latter had been in contention in yesterday's stage, which had also finished with a terrific sprint finish won by Grosu - but it was marred by a crash after the line, when a spectator ran across the road and caused a high-speed crash.
Bahrain Merida rider Matej Mohoric, who had been fifth in the overal standings, was was forced to withdraw from the race with a punctured lung, two broken ribs and internal bleeding.
His team-mate Bole picked up six bonus seconds for finishing second in the stage but is well adrift in the general classification standings while Stage 2 winner Grosu finished more than two minutes down to give up the leader's jersey.