A late surge for the line netted Matej Marin (Gourmetfein Simplon Wels) the opening edition of the Sarajevo Grand Prix held in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo on Sunday. He was the fastest of a group of 17 breakaway riders that made it to he finish line intact.
On a fast, broad and slightly downhill finish, the 33-year-old Slovenian timed his move well through a sweeping right-hand bend at about 200 metres to claim the win in the 135.5km race. Second was Italian Cristian Delle Stelle (MG Kvis-Wilier).
The race was held to commemorate the centenary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, on June 28th 1914, which triggered the start of the First World War.
Marin and around 16 others had broken away on the 11km Mount Igman climb mid-way through the race and after a fast descent into Sarajevo and five laps of a 10km finishing circuit, it was clear that the shattered remains of a chasing peloton would not be able to pull them back.
“It was a fast finish, and tricky with a headwind,” Marin said, “So you had to be careful with the timing of your sprint and taking the right line through that last curve was very important. It was the shortest way to the finish.”
“I had a teammate on the climb who helped me to get over it fine, and then in the last kilometre he made the pace for me.”
He said that his favorite career win was at the Rhone-Alpes-Isere in 2006 but that this win was also special.