40th Tour of Hungary
Stage 2: Balassagyarmat – Miskolc (201 km)
The longest stage of this Vuelta a Hungría had a vibrant pulse with the general fight on the horizon where the Kometa Cycling Team was one of the key players through Juan Pedro López. The passage through the scenic Bukk mountains, summits of rounded shapes and large expanses of dense forest masses, was the scene of a struggle that clarified the overall of the race, consolidated Márton Dina as the best Hungarian rider of the test and raised the Kometa to provisional leadership of the overall team.
A hot day in Hungary. High temperatures. And a lot of work on the asphalt. In the ascent to the Bukkszentkereszt (600 m), where the escape of the day that had starred the Slovenian Jon Bozic, the Czech Matej Zahalka, the Swedish Jakob Erikson and the Belgian Thomas Deruette, in which it was the last of the three ascents of the day, demarró the Latvian Krists Neilands. There were more than 25 kilometres to go. The cyclist of the Israel Cycling Team, second in the general classification, left alone and quickly achieved more than half a minute of margin, while from the very small group of illustrious jumped in search of the Andalusian cyclist of the Alberto Contador Foundation. The only one.
López would fight without success to reach a Neilands that was already rolling with a minute and a half, being reached in the descent by the leader’s group, where the Androni riders tried to iron out the differences. Stefano Oldani, Márton Dina and Diego Pablo Sevilla also rode in this group of 37 units, in addition to the Lebrija rider. One minute away from Neilands, the new leader of the race, and after a small incident with the signalling that lost several riders, Dina and Oldani managed to achieve the sixth and seventh place, respectively. The Kometa Cycling Team climbed to the top of the general team standings.
“Neilands climbed very, very fast. He comes from the Giro d’Italia, has assimilated it and has that point in a superior way to the rest. I’m happy with the way I found myself. Now we have to rest and think about the next few days, which will be very important stages”, commented Juan Pedro López.
“Neilands was very strong today, he was the best. Personally I felt good, with very good legs to try to make a podium. In the last kilometre we were put on the wrong track by several riders and we lost precious time. We tried to recover it and return to the group of those who had not deviated, among which was Márton. I was able to catch, fight that sprint and win it practically at the finish line. It’s a shame, I felt so good to fight for a podium”, explains Oldani about that rough finish that Márton Dina also witnessed. The Budapest rider commented: “I’m satisfied with how I finished the day. In Esztergom I didn’t have the best sensations, it was a day that was hard for me. Today, however, I felt much better and in the climb I enjoyed very good sensations. The end was a bit crazy, I don’t know what happened. I knew the finish and I didn’t have any problems, fortunately”.
In the new general classification the leader becomes the Latvian Neilands, yellow jersey with 1:07 over Manuele Belletti. Stefano Oldani (at 1:16) and Márton Dina (at 1:18) are the eighth and ninth in a general classification in which Diego Pablo Sevilla and Juan Pedro López are in eleventh and twelfth position, respectively. Four riders of the Kometa Cycling Team among the top fifteen for this Friday, when the race faces an increasingly unusual format, a double sector. In the morning, 115 kilometres between Kazincbarcika and Tiszafüred. In the afternoon, the race will start at 15.45, 65 kilometres to Hajduszoboszlo. The two semietapas emerge as the first two opportunities to attend a pure sprint. A day with double opportunity for the speed of Michele Gazzoli.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)