Croatia is becoming more than just a holiday location – it is becoming a mountain bike destination. The 4 Islands MTB stage race on the islands Krk, Rab, Cres and Lošinj that finished this weekend attracted many mountain bike racing enthusiasts, both professionals and amateurs, from all of the world. There is a certain charm of combining a bike race with time near the ocean, and visiting small villages. The 4 Islands MTB race allows just that, adding a little more interest and a competitive edge to your normal holiday to Croatia.
Croatia, the coastal area in particular, has everything required to encourage mountain biking, with it’s weather conditions, variety of terrain, natural beauty and number of trails. With trails being a historic link for so many of the islands, it makes it near perfect for mountain biking, combining good gradients and trails proven by time – along with exceptional views.
Racing the 4 Islands MTB Race
More than 200 teams from 25 countries were riding in 4 categories. The largest category traditionally was Men under 45 where the Czech team ČESKA SPORITELNA-ACCOLADE (Marouš Ulman, Pavel Boudny) showed their superiority throughout the whole race. It took them 10:03:32 to finish more than 250 kilometres.
The most competitive category was the Mixed teams, where the stage winners were different every stage. The final victory was taken by South African married couple Martin and Jeannie Dreyer from HI-TEC/USN who were 7 minutes ahead of the second positioned team.
In the women’s category, Croatian sisters Težak (Gorana and Zorana) won without real competition and left the next position 2 hours and 5 minutes behind.
There was a constant competition in Men over 45 category between Russian, Slovenian and Croatian/Slovenian teams bit at the end SERPANTNIN CYCLING TEAM from Russia (Yury Isaev and Eduard Shaggev) celebrated the victory.
Based on the impression and comments from the participants, 4 Islands MTB stage race is one of the best organised mountain bike races in Europe and the vision of the organisers is to become one of top 10 races in the world. If you want more information about the event and 2017, be sure to go to their website.