Patrick Schelling did most of the work for his respectable result on the second of three stages when he finished sixth. It could have even been better: On the 165km stage he missed the stage win by only 50 meters. The newbie of Team Vorarlberg had broken away from the pack on his STEVENS Xenon 70km after the start with five other riders.
The peloton allowed the escape which was aided by a mass crash. Fran Zurita of Team Vorarlberg was involved in crash but was able to continue the race without any greater injuries.
Yet the gap was never bigger than two minutes which didn’t bother Schelling at all. He set the pace for the most part of the race which resulted in many riders dropping out of the head group. In the grueling final climb the specialist for one-day and hilly races went all-in. Yet, with only a few meters left to the finish line, he was overtaken by five riders.
Winner became Martijn Tusveld of Rabobank Development Team. Schelling said after the race: ”It was a really close race today. I firmly believed that I could make it and never looked back. Yet, even if it didn’t work out today, I am happy to be in good shape and I’m gladly looking forward to the next races.”
Also, Schelling was comforted by the fact that he had won all KOM points along the course aboard his STEVENS Xenon, so he was awarded the KOM Green Jersey. In the GC he ranked 7th at the time with 35 seconds behind.
The third and final stage was one for the sprinters with 146km length and only a few minor climbs. Since a total of 13 teams had a rider able to take the overall win, the race turned out to be quite hectic with lots of break-aways. In of these groups was Fabian Giger, Switzerland, who collected the decisive points to win the KOM Jersey with just one point ahead of Schelling. The much expected sprint was won by Matej Mugerli from Slovenia in front of Olivier Pardini (Belgium) and David Per (Slovenia).
Schelling crossed the line in the bunch with a five second penalty just as any racer from place 25 and lower. He therefore finished 9th overall in the final ranking. Overall winner of the Istrian Spring Trophy became Olivier Pardini in front of Martijn Tusveld and Matej Mugerli.