42º Tour de Hongrie
Stage 4: Balassagyarmat – Gyöngyös / Kékestető (204 km)
Australian Damien Howson climbed to the lead of the Tour de Hongrie after winning at the summit of Kékestetö, the end of a queen day that concentrated all its attacks for the overall within the last three kilometres and in which the Hungarian Erik Fetter rode in the reduced group of the chosen ones until the attack of the Colombian Jhojan García. For Fetter, first at the finish, an interesting eleventh position because it comes after the important fall in which he was involved on Thursday.
“The crash was a big scare, but fortunately we were able to rule out a fracture. In the morning I felt fine and I was really looking forward to doing well on this stage. It was a small personal goal. The team worked really well, they kept me and Alejandro safe all day long. We reached the final climb in a good position. When the attacks came, I lacked the spark to respond and I chose to set my own pace. It’s possible that I felt yesterday’s fall there”, said Fetter.
Alejandro Ropero finished 18th at the summit and is now the best placed rider in the general standings, 16th at 1’23” and tied with two other riders. “We finished the day happy, both because of our performance here and because of the news from the Giro with Gava”, he says.
“We rode all day together, well placed. We rode very well. Our team-mates left Erik and me in front of the final climb. And there we rode until the changes of pace in the final part. The ‘Caja’ riders accelerated and when I tried to close the gap I got caught. I stayed 50 metres behind that group, but in the end I had a small crisis. Coming from where we come from, from the physical discomfort and from not training as much as I would have liked because of that discomfort, in spite of everything I think I did well. In the end, it’s a pity that Fetter crashed yesterday, because he could have been in the top ten for sure”.
The Tour de Hongrie concludes this Sunday in the streets of Budapest with a short, urban stage and a more than likely sprint finish. A new opportunity for Luca Pacioni, who has more and more confidence and better legs. This Saturday, in the queen stage, Pacioni was in a breakaway with Juraj Sagan.