Adapting to a new category always presents its challenges and requires its time, but under normal circumstances the month of May would have brought for Erik Fetter an important touchstone in the Tour de Hongrie. The Budapest-born rider, who was only 18 at the time, finished 17th and was the third Hungarian rider to qualify in the final general classification. In 2020, in a continental structure like the Kometa-Xstra Cycling Team, he posed interesting challenges, details to be confirmed and a completely new competitive universe.
“My biggest surprise was to see me racing among the great riders of the World Tour. Only a few years ago this was something absolutely inconceivable to me. Now I’m here and I realize that all cyclists are human and achieving a level like yours is not unattainable,” said Fetter.
The promising Hungarian rider, with very interesting results in his country’s mountain bike and a great international projection derived from the strength shown in the 2018 Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games, faced seven competitive days this campaign until the coronavirus burst onto the playing field. A couple of trophies from the Challenge de Mallorca, the Vuelta a Murcia, the Clásica de Almería and the Croatian Umag and Porec Trophies were his debut races. Some crashes have frustrated some experience, as it happened in Almería.
“My first month with the team was a great surprise, it brought me immense joy. After all, I was arriving at a professional team. A childhood dream. I lived every moment intensely. With a great desire to learn. And always attentive to the experience of my colleagues, my directors or the staff of the team. I’m really enjoying the road-specific training and the new experiences on the road. I don’t miss the mountain bike, some days of rest you can always take a ride for fun”, he adds.
“In Oliva Nova we worked hard and did a very good job. From there we introduced ourselves in Mallorca. I made my debut in the Serra de Tramuntana Trophy. My first race was quite good. I did everything I was told to do. Unfortunately I fell in the final part of the last long climb and lost contact with the first group”, remembers Fetter about his competitive debut with the Kometa-Xsta Cycling Team.
“To be honest, in the following races I had very bad luck and several setbacks. In other races I suffered falls. And in the Vuelta a Murcia, in addition, I had to manage a very strong back pain for which I finally had to abandon”, he continues. “In Croatia the dynamic was changing. I worked for the options of my faster team-mates, the races were quite flat, I did what my directors ordered me to do… I think I did well”.
The advent of the pandemic, however, curtailed the turnaround. “I was feeling good and looking forward to the stage race. Unfortunately, the Istrian Spring Trophy was cancelled and my chances of trying out for the climbs disappeared. Everyone went back home and the quarantine began then with all that it has meant for everyone, as we have seen”.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)
? Atila Madrona