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Tour of Croatia: Zoidl wins on summit showdown

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Riccardo Zoidl (Trek - Segafredo) after winning stage 4 in Croatia

Riccardo Zoidl (Trek - Segafredo) after winning stage 4 in Croatia (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Riccardo Zoidl (Trek - Segafredo) after winning stage 4 in Croatia

Riccardo Zoidl (Trek - Segafredo) after winning stage 4 in Croatia (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Riccardo Zoidl (Trek - Segafredo) wins stage 4 in Croatia

Riccardo Zoidl (Trek - Segafredo) wins stage 4 in Croatia (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Riccardo Zoidl (Trek - Segafredo) on hhis way to winning stage 4 in Croatia

Riccardo Zoidl (Trek - Segafredo) on hhis way to winning stage 4 in Croatia (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Riccardo Zoidl (Trek - Segafredo) on hhis way to winning stage 4 in Croatia

Riccardo Zoidl (Trek - Segafredo) on hhis way to winning stage 4 in Croatia (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Eugenio Alafaci (Trek - Segafredo) on the front during stage 4 in Croatia

Eugenio Alafaci (Trek - Segafredo) on the front during stage 4 in Croatia (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Androni - Sidermec

Androni - Sidermec (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Julian Arredondo (Trek - Segafredo)

Julian Arredondo (Trek - Segafredo) (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) relaxes in Croatia

Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) relaxes in Croatia (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Enrico Barbin (Bardiani - CSF)

Enrico Barbin (Bardiani - CSF) (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Laurens De Vreese (Astana)

Laurens De Vreese (Astana) (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Jesper Hansen (Tinkoff) after an all-out effort to win stage 4 in Croatia

Jesper Hansen (Tinkoff) after an all-out effort to win stage 4 in Croatia (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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IAM Cycling's Marcel Aregger

IAM Cycling's Marcel Aregger (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Jesper Hansen (Tinkoff) after an all-out effort to win stage 4 in Croatia

Jesper Hansen (Tinkoff) after an all-out effort to win stage 4 in Croatia (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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The breakaway group during stage 4 in Croatia

The breakaway group during stage 4 in Croatia (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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IAM Cycling on the attack

IAM Cycling on the attack (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Refreshments for an IAM Cycling rider

Refreshments for an IAM Cycling rider (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Matija Kvasina (Synergy Baku Cycling Project) at the front of the lead group

Matija Kvasina (Synergy Baku Cycling Project) at the front of the lead group (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Matija Kvasina (Synergy Baku Cycling Project) is the race leader after stage 4

Matija Kvasina (Synergy Baku Cycling Project) is the race leader after stage 4 (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Scenery along the route at the 2016 Tour of Croatia

Scenery along the route at the 2016 Tour of Croatia (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Jay McCarthy (Tinkoff)

Jay McCarthy (Tinkoff) (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek - Segafredo)

Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek - Segafredo) (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek - Segafredo) during stage 4 at Tour of Croatia

Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek - Segafredo) during stage 4 at Tour of Croatia (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek - Segafredo) during stage 4 at Tour of Croatia

Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek - Segafredo) during stage 4 at Tour of Croatia (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek - Segafredo) in blue at the Tour of Croatia

Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek - Segafredo) in blue at the Tour of Croatia (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Sergio Paulinho (Tinkoff)

Sergio Paulinho (Tinkoff) (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Daniele Ratto (Androni - Sidermec)

Daniele Ratto (Androni - Sidermec) (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Paolo Simion (Bardiani - CSF)

Paolo Simion (Bardiani - CSF) (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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A small group at the front of affairs at the Tour of Croatia

A small group at the front of affairs at the Tour of Croatia (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Alessandro Vanotti (Astana)

Alessandro Vanotti (Astana) (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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The peloton in action at the 2016 Tour of Croatia

The peloton in action at the 2016 Tour of Croatia (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Scenery along the route at the 2016 Tour of Croatia

Scenery along the route at the 2016 Tour of Croatia (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Jay McCarthy (Tinkoff)

Jay McCarthy (Tinkoff) (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Riccardo Zoidl (Trek - Segafredo) on hhis way to winning stage 4 in Croatia

Riccardo Zoidl (Trek - Segafredo) on hhis way to winning stage 4 in Croatia (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Riccardo Zoidl (Trek-Segafredo)

Riccardo Zoidl (Trek-Segafredo) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Riccardo Zoidl (Trek-Segafredo)

Riccardo Zoidl (Trek-Segafredo) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Riccardo Zoidl (Trek-Segafredo)

Riccardo Zoidl (Trek-Segafredo) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Riccardo Zoidl (Trek-Segafredo)

Riccardo Zoidl (Trek-Segafredo) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Riccardo Zoidl (Trek-Segafredo)

Riccardo Zoidl (Trek-Segafredo) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Trek-Segafredo's Riccardo Zoidl put his climbing prowess on display on stage 4 of the Tour of Croatia, taking out the win on the mountain top finish with an attack from just over a kilometer from the summit.

The Austrian may have won the stage, but it was Synergy Baku who claimed the race lead with Croatian Matija Kvasina, who was second on the stage at 28 seconds. Victor de la Parte (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) was third.

Kvasina leads the race by 19 seconds over Zoidl, with Radoslav Rogina (Adria Mobil) in third ahead of the team time trial.

“On paper Baku is just a small team, but we have proven that with teamwork we can achieve great results," Kvasina said. "It is a small team with a huge heart and soul. Nothing would have been possible today without this amazing team.

“Special thanks to Kirill, who gave his best for me the whole day and in crucial moments. I am forever thankful and hope that I can return the favor to the whole team. It is nice to lead my homeland race and we will fight for it until the end.”

For Zoidl, it was his first win in three years - his last came in the 2013 Croatia - Slovenia race. "This victory means a lot to me because this year I had a lot of troubles in the beginning of the season," Zoidl said. "Just to continue this week with a victory - we have already two - it is incredible. Thanks to the team, they rode the last 50k amazingly. I'm really happy."

The final climb was 22km long, beginning gradually but having several steep sections. Pacing was key to the stage win, he said.

"I knew that it was a really long climb and you had to pace it, and wait and wait. My director said to wait until the last moment. With 5km to go I tried to split it a little bit and then there were three guys. I felt good, so I decided to go a little bit early with 2k to go, and it worked out. It's an amazing day for me."

Zoidl might have been in the race lead but for a 51 second loss on stage 2 when he was caught behind a crash, but now the Trek-Segafredo team will have to make up the 19 second gap to Kvasina in tomrorrow's team time trial.

"It was a pity I lost 50 seconds on the second stage with the crash. But we're really motivated now after this third victory and we'll go full gas tomorrow."

How it unfolded

It didn't take long for the race leader Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) and fellow sprinters like Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) to be jettisoned from the peloton on the lumpy start to the 122.1km stage to the summit at Vojak - a day with 3,000m of accumulated climbing.

Eight riders made the breakaway of the day: Artem Ovechkin (Gazprom-Rusvelo), Scott Davies (Team WIGGINS), Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani CSF), Daniel Turek (Cycling Academy), Brec