The links between the professional structure of the Contador Foundation and Hungarian cycling are intense. Two of its most prominent riders, Márton Dina and Erik Fetter, face 2021 enrolled in the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team. In addition, another of the country’s talents, the young Gergo Magyar, will compete in the junior squad. A high percentage at national level. Six Hungarians are competing this season in the two main categories of the men’s cycling. Two of them are in the WorldTour.
That prominence has spilled over into Kometa’s attraction to the country, a market where the food company has both commercial interests and production facilities. In recent years, in collaboration with the national federation, several Hungarian riders have attended various stages of the continental team. At a time when the universalisation of cycling has led to the genesis of great champions in countries without such a tradition, Slovenia or Slovakia being two examples, Hungary is also aiming to follow this dynamic.
At the age of 20, Erik Fetter is set to be one of those references. Of the six Hungarian riders in the elite, he is the youngest of them all. WorldTour riders Barnabás Peak (GreenEdge) and Attila Valter (Groupama-FDJ), he is 22 years old. Márton Dina, his team-mate at EOLO-KOMETA, is 24. But Fetter belongs to the same generation as Remco Evenepoel, who is just over two months older.
“Last season was very strange. The crash made me stop earlier than I wanted to when I had a very nice goal in front of me like the Giro U23. Not forgetting the pandemic, of course, which conditioned everything. But I’ll keep the good moments and the feelings I had after the confinement”, says Erik Fetter, now recovered from the after-effects of the accident he suffered against a car when he was preparing for the Giro Baby. The Budapest rider was only able to compete for ten days, seven before the confinement, but at the Tour de l’Ain he was among the best. “It was a turning point. You always dream, but that was an endorsement. A lot of confidence for the future. Obviously there is always a lot of work ahead, but yes I would like to be able to be part of that step forward for cycling in our country”.
“Erik is an extremely young rider, but with incredible potential,” says coach Carlos Barredo. “We are sure of his potential and we don’t quite know what his ceiling is. In the Tour de l’Ain he already showed it. After the confinement, training alone, he was with people like Tom Dumoulin or Primoz Roglic. Then he had the accident in August. In the first training camp, we were pleasantly surprised because his level was very high. We hadn’t trained too much either, apart from all the work to compensate, to recover and stabilise the vertebrae problem he had after the accident. We had practically done some trainings, but his level was important. We are very happy. We believe that at certain times of the season he can make a leap forward and, why not, a pleasant surprise”.
[ Atila Madrona]