Bauhaus appeared to have obstructed Kooij with less than 25 metres to go in Varazdin, however no penalty was awarded as he claimed his seventh bunch-sprint win of the season.
The first stage spanned 237 kilometres from Osijek and offered riders a relatively flat course before a sole category three climb with 40 kilometres to go.
Marceli Boguslawski (HRE Mazowsze Serce Polski) found himself in a good position by the time the climb arrived, having held a 50-second lead over a chasing pack of four breakaway riders.
The Pole’s lead, however, was soon lost with 27 kilometres to go, when even the peloton had gained ground to set up a sprint finish.
In the end it was Bauhaus who crossed the line first – ahead of Kooij – to take the first of six stages across Croatia.
The second stage will see the riders travel 187 kilometres from Slunj to Otocac and will air LIVE via SBS On Demand from 11:00pm (AEST) tonight.