Aaron Gate and EvoPro Racing left Belgrade Banjaluka with mixed emotions.  Having dominated the opening three stages, wins for Aaron Gate and Wouter Wippert put the team in a commanding position with the final stage to go, but simple bad luck saw the overall victory elude Gate.

After Gate’s opening stage victory in Vlasenica and back-to-back stage wins for Wouter Wippert, confidence was high for the team heading into the final 175km journey from Prnjavor to Banjaluka.  The parcours wasn’t extremely challenging.  Two short climbs in the opening 50km were the only lumps in the road before the finishing circuit in Banjaluka itself, a short, flat 5km loop to be tackled  six times in all.

What could have and should have been a straight forward day of defence turned into a completely different story sadly.  Part way through the stage Gate suffered a puncture, which should have been a straightforward mend and then back up to the main field.  Sadly though, as Gate attempted to return to the race with his teammates the hammer was put down at the front of the race. The EvoPro Racing chase effort was further hampered by a crash that brought down Cyrus Monk; third in this year’s Gravel and Tar Classic.

The day started with the top 50 only separated by 15 seconds and in the end it was Voster ATS Team’s Pawel Franczak who benefited most from Gate’s misfortune.  Marko Kump of Adria Mobil took the stage win out of a bunch sprint of 40 riders.  Franczak took second place and with it the overall win at Belgrade Banjaluka as Gate in his yellow jersey crossed the finish line 4.33mins behind the main field, surrendering his yellow jersey and eventually finishing 42nd overall.  EvoPro Racing, having gone all in to defend Aaron Gate, also surrendered the team classification.

Next up for the team is Le Tour de Bretagne Cycliste which starts on Thursday.

Stage results:

RankLast NameFirst NameCountryTeamResult
1KUMPMarkoSLO       ADRIA MOBIL3:31:57
2FRANCZAKPawelPOL       VOSTER ATS TEAM3:31:57
3GROSSERAaronGER       BIKE AID 3:31:57
4AUERDanielAUT       MALOJA PUSHBIKERS3:31:57
5KATRAŠNIKGašperSLO       ADRIA MOBIL3:31:57
6RYBAJanCZE       AC SPARTA PRAHA3:31:57
7SHUMOVNikolaiBLR       MINSK CYCLING CLUB3:31:57
8PUCCIONIDarioITA       SANGEMINI – TREVIGIANI – MG.K VIS3:31:57
9KALABADušanSRB       SERBIA3:31:57
10BURCHIOFedericoITA       D’AMICO UM TOOLS3:31:57
OTHERS




59GATEAaronNZL       EVOPRO RACING3:36:30

MUDGWAYLukeNZL       EVOPRO RACINGDNF

General classification:

RankLast NameFirst NameCountryTeamResult
1FRANCZAKPawelPOL       VOSTER ATS TEAM14:55:35
2GROSSERAaronGER       BIKE AID 14:55:35
3VALTERAttilaHUN       CCC DEVELOPMENT TEAM14:55:37
4HALLERPatrickGER       HEIZOMAT RAD – NET.DE14:55:39
5HILLBenjaminAUS       LJUBLJANA GUSTO SANTIC14:55:41
6SALZMANNJodokAUT       MALOJA PUSHBIKERS14:55:45
7PUCCIONIDarioITA       SANGEMINI – TREVIGIANI – MG.K VIS14:55:45
8HATZChristopherGER       HERRMANN RADTEAM14:55:45
9LODERERTimonGER       HRINKOW ADVARICS CYCLEANG 14:55:45
10BURCHIOFedericoITA       D’AMICO UM TOOLS14:55:45
OTHER




42GATEAaronNZL       EVOPRO RACING15:00:03

Photo: Danielle Ward/Concept78 Photography

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