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Preview: Great Britain return to UCI Juniors Nations’ Cup action with 2014 Tour of Istria

Preview: Great Britain return to UCI Juniors Nations’ Cup action with 2014 Tour of Istria

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Great Britain return to UCI Juniors Nations’ Cup action with the 2014 Tour of Istria stage race from 25-27 April in Croatia.

A luckless Paris-Roubaix Juniors - the opening event of the competition - saw Britain’s riders hit by a series of punctures that all but ended their podium hopes.

With the focus on development, two changes have been made from the Paris-Roubaix squad. Joe Fry and Leon Gledhill come in for Joe Holt and James Shaw for the three-stage race.

Fry and Gledhill join Matt Gibson, Matt Bostock, Joe Evans and Gabriel Cullaigh in the Great Britain squad.

Last year, then Great Britain Olympic Development athlete Tao Geoghegan Hart came third in stage one before winning stage two on his way to the overall general classification.

Race details

Stage one: Porec-Buzket

Tour of Istria stage one

The opening 144-kilometre stage takes riders from Porec, down western Croatia before turning back directly up the heart of the country to Buzket.

The first of two mountain primes comes at the 25 kilometre - a short, sharp climb from Lim to Sosici.

A longer, more gradual 17-kilometre ascent to Zminj follows before the second prime of the day to Katun at 84 kilometres.

A fast descent into the centre of Buzet for the finish ends the stage.

Stage two: Umag-Labin

Tour of Istria stage two

A much shorter but hillier second stage of 90-kilometres takes the peloton from the west coast across the breadth of Croatia to Labin.

The stage’s first major climb arrives at 35 kilometres to Kaldir Križ before a second rise to Drazej at kilometre 57.

A descent into Potpican is followed by more climbing to the stage finish in Labin.

Stage three: Vrsa-Pula

Tour of Istria stage three

The final leg of the race again starts on the west coast in Vsar, heading east to Zminj before retuning back to the east for the finish in Pula after 112 kilometres.

In between riders twice take on a circuit from Marcana to Kriz but only after climbing to Zminj at 31 kilometres.

The first mountain prime comes earlier, a repeat of stage one’s rise to Sosici.

After Zminj, a steady descent is fragmented with short, punchy climbs into Pula.


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