The month of May 2020 should have become a pivotal moment in the history of contemporary cycling in Hungary. The Grande Partenza from Budapest, scheduled for Saturday 9th with an individual time trial prologue, and another two days on Magyar soil totalled more than 400 kilometres of international projection that would have a golden brooch, taking advantage of the pull of the Corsa Rosa on its return to Italy: the celebration a few days after the Tour de Hongrie.
But the global health emergency caused by the expansion of the coronavirus and the measures adopted by the authorities of many countries and territories to stop its expansion, however, have made it impossible to celebrate this cycle of nine days of great importance for the sport of cycling in this country, and thus have prevented the use of this synergy of the Giro by the Tour of Hungary, which had advanced its dates of celebration this year and should be held between Wednesday 13 and Sunday 17 May. The organization is working to have the race held this coming autumn.
The Magyar race will not now run on the roads in a physical sense, but it does jump onto the virtual cycling scene and the Kometa-Xstra Cycling Team will be part of it. The organisation, through the Garmin Connect platform, and in an initiative that seeks to promote the country’s cycling collective, proposes up to five cycling routes that will cover the final part of the five days of the 2020 edition. And among them, the ascent to the country’s roof, the Kékestetö, could not be missed, where in 2019 Márton Dina cemented his second place in the general classification and Juan Pedro López fought for the partial victory. This Tour of Hungary Virtual, on the same dates scheduled for its celebration, will be the backbone of a one-hour television program on M4Sport, the channel that broadcasts the sporting event.
From their places of confinement, the twelve riders of the Kometa-Xstra Cycling Team will take part in this initiative to support cycling in a country that is fundamental for Kometa’s interests. “Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the day-to-day life of our society in recent months and, from the point of view of cycling, has prevented any competition from being held. In Hungary we are privileged in comparison with other countries because we can still train on the roads. But it is not yet possible to hold races. That’s why we have to welcome an initiative like this Virtual Tour of Hungary, which stimulates the practice of sport among the fans and allows to keep giving visibility to a race that works very hard to keep growing within the global panorama”, says the rider Márton Dina.
Jesús Hernández, director of the Kometa-Xstra Cycling Team: “This comparison is not new, but it is very valid: the Tour de Hongrie is our particular Tour de France. It is the race. It is our race. We are obliged to do very well, to be protagonists, to fight with the highest ambitions and without any complex. In 2018 we won a stage victory with a Matteo Moschetti who was second in two others. And in 2019, even if this partial success was resisted, the team fought until the last day for the classification, their work was fundamental for the development of the race, Márton finished second in the general classification and both Juan Pedro López and Stefano Oldani finished among the first six. In 2020 the prospects were very good, with the incentive of an even higher level of participation. We are confident that the race can be celebrated. And we are delighted to be able to support them in the meantime in an initiative like this”.
The Virtual Tour de Hongrie.
Stage 1: Debrecen – Hajdúszobozló (45.12 km).
Stage 2: Karcag – Nyíregyháza (45.18 km).
Stage 3: Sárospatak – Kazincbarcika (28.09 km).
Stage 4: Miskolc – Kékestetö (30.06 km).
Stage 5: Esztergom – Esztergom (41.18 km).
All those interested in participating can send their Garmin Connect user to email@example.com, where they will receive an invitation to take part in the Virtual Tour de Hongrie and will be able to download the route to their devices. More information here.
? David Ponce / Gobik (1)
? Tour de Hongrie (2 y 3)
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)