“The whole race was dangerous with the local circuits. Before the circuits it was OK but these circuits were too much. When I looked in the road book in the morning I had hoped that it would be OK but it was the opposite," the veteran told Velonews after the final day of racing where the finish in Zagreb feature multiple hazardous features such as exposed road furniture, pedestrians and tram lines in the final circuit. "It should be unacceptable but I don’t know what can be done. The UCI should do something but I can’t take the UCI seriously anymore."
“There were tram lines, road furniture, and then small poles to prevent cars from parking. There were potholes on the descent that you could disappear and it’s not just today. It was every day in that race on the local laps," he continued.
“We complained with some riders a few days ago because of rain in a ridiculous final, even in the dry they’ve crashed there five years in a row, and then the UCI commissaires say that they don’t see any problems. To me the UCI lost all credibility," van Emden put. "They showed that they don’t give a damn. They just don’t care about our safety. I’m 100 percent sure that they don’t check the finals.”
The race, won by Matej Mohoric - with Elia Viviani winning the tricky final stage in Croatia's capital of Zagreb, has been the target of criticism over the years, 2022 included as it featured more than one finale which seemingly ignored the UCI's own rules on stage design, noticeably also featuring sharp corners within the very final meters of bunch sprint stages.
“This was my first time at the Cro Race, and it will be my last,” the Jumbo-Visma rider said, furious with what the riders faced. “I don’t think that Jumbo-Visma will go back. The chance of breaking something is just too big."
"Jonas didn’t like that he lost the race but he said he didn’t want to break his neck. That was the best decision so we lost the race, but we stayed healthy and that’s the most important thing," he concluded. Jonas Vingegaard led the race into the final day after returning to competition, but has lost the overall win on the final day of the race.