De la Parte started the sixth and final stage 17 seconds behind Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) on the General Classification and had a 12-second buffer on Andrey Zeits (Astana Pro Team) in fourth place.
Eight riders went clear early in the race and established an advantage of more than five minutes across the flat terrain with just a third category climb on the cards before the race reached the technical finishing circuit in Zagreb.
The peloton left the chase to late and with 30 kilometers remaining, the gap dropped below the two-minute mark by which point de la Parte’s teammates brought him into position at the front of the bunch to stay out of trouble approaching the circuit.
The cobbled roads and narrow streets made for a technical circuit and despite the chase from the reduced peloton, the remaining breakaway riders managed to hold their advantage as they crossed the line to hear the bell ahead of the last lap.
In the end, Alessandro Fedeli (Delko Marseille Provence) held on to narrowly take the win from the breakaway and although he was distanced slightly on the cobbled uphill run into the finish, de la Parte crossed the line 17 seconds behind Fedeli, which was enough to secure third place behind overall winner Yates.
Quotes from the Finish Line
Víctor de la Parte:
“The day was really hard. We went full gas from the very start and I knew the circuit from three years ago when I raced in Croatia. I knew it would be really dangerous because of the tram lines and the 500 meters of cobbles uphill, which makes it really hard. In the finale, Bahrain Merida pulled really hard so I tried to stay on the wheels. The team was good working all day for me so I think we can be really happy with the podium result, especially after my crash in the Vuelta. I put in a lot of hard work to recover, to line up here, so I can be happy with this result.”
Fabio Baldato, Sports Director:
“It was not an easy day today. The finishing circuit was really demanding and it was important to stay focused and not lose the podium at the last moment. When you look at the top twenty riders on the stage you see there were lots of gaps and Victor lost some time but luckily, he had a good advantage over the rider in fourth place and was able to hold onto the podium. Joey did a great job all day to protect Victor, especially on the circuit and was there ready to give his bike if there were any problems on the cobbles. In the end, it was probably better for us that the breakaway stayed away as there was a bit less stress. I think we got the best result possible out of the race with Victor’s podium and we saw good teamwork and strong legs from all of the guys before the Italian races.”
Stage 6: Seta Nedelja > Zagreb (154km)
Top 3: 1. Alessandro Fedele (Delco Marseille Provence), 2. Jan Tratnik (Bahrain Merida), 3. Florian Kierner (Team Felbermayr – Simplon Wels)
CCC Team top 3: 19. Joey Rosskopf, 22. Víctor de la Parte, 29. Serge Pauwels
Top 3 on GC: 1. Adam Yates (CRO Race), 2. Davide Villella (Astana Pro Team), 3. Víctor de la Parte (CCC Team)
CCC Team top 3 on GC: 3. Víctor de la Parte, 11. Serge Pauwels, 19. Joey Rosskopf