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Edoardo Zambanini takes 5th on Queen stage and is 4th GC at Tour de Hongrie.

The 5-day stage race Tour de Hongrie concluded with a final day that suited climbers (Miskolc >
Gyöngyös-Kékestető, 184km).

After four days for sprinters, today’s hilly course featured an elevation of almost 3000m and a mountain’s top-finish on the highest point of Hungary, Kékestető, at the end of an 18km long climb, with a gradient of more than 10%.
A queen stage that was highly anticipated to shake the general classification and that, as expected, saw the showdown of the climbers.

Bahrain Victorious’ young rider Edoardo Zambanini managed to keep the pace with the strongest riders in the peloton in the final crucial part of the race. At 2km to go, Dunbar (Ineos Grenadiers) accelerated from the selected group in front, but when it seemed, he could easily take a solo win, he was caught back by Tiberi (Trek Segafredo), who won on the line. Dunbar was second, but he could find solace with the GC victory ahead of Rodriguez (Movistar) and Battistella (Astana). Our Zambanini finished just out of the podium in 4th place, after taking 5th on the stage.

Tour de Hongrie 2022 – 43rd Edition – 4th stage Kazincbarcika – Kazincbarcika 177km – 13/05/2022 – Bahrain Victorious – photo Szymon Gruchalski/CV/SprintCyclingAgency©2022

Edoardo Zambanini: “It was a very nice stage today. It was a challenging course due to the elevation.
The peloton controlled the race. Thanks to my teammates, I was well-positioned, and they helped me save energy throughout the day. I tried to give all on the final climb and stay in the front until Dunbar’s attack at 2km. Then I didn’t give up and could take a good 5th place.”

Tour de Hongrie 2022 – 43rd Edition – 1st stage Csakvar – Szekesfehervar 195 km – 11/05/2022 – Edoardo Zambanini (ITA – Bahrain Victorious) – Kamil Gradek (TPE – Bahrain Victorious) – photo Szymon Gruchalski/CV/SprintCyclingAgency©2022

Michal Golas, Bahrain Victorious Sports Director: “It was a good race. We finish 4th with Edoardo, and with a bit of luck, we could even be on the final GC podium. Anyway, we should be happy with this result. Coming to the Tour of Hungary without a sprinter wasn’t easy for us in the first four stages, but I think the team worked pretty well, and we can be happy, especially today. We really believed in Edoardo, and he proved that he has some skills and might be proud of him”.

(All pictures can be used for editorial and non-commercial usages only and are copyright @Sprintcycling @TeamBahrainVictorious)

— Simona Mazzoleni to bahraincyclingteam.com

Tour de Hongrie concludes with Kekesteto Queen Stage

The classic Tour de Hongrie Queen Stage closed out the 43rd edition of the race, climaxing atop the Kekesteto climb with former Hungarian national champion Peter Kusztor’s first home for Team Novo Nordisk, buoyed by the cheers of the home crowds.

Peter Kusztor:

“As always I’ve really enjoyed racing at home and showing off the Team Novo Nordisk jersey, spreading our inspirational message and hopefully showing people wants possibile with diabetes. My personal highlights were obviously getting up the road in the breakaway on stage two and also the great teamwork we showed working together to help position Andrea on the sprint stages.”

“We’ve really improved there and it’s a great feeling being on the front mixing it up with the big sprinters teams. The Queen Stage is always hard with the double ascent of Kekesteto and this time it was the final stage again so we knew all week what was coming. I tried to stay with the leaders as long as possible but I’m not a young man anymore and I don’t have the same explosiveness as before, so I need to ride my own tempo. All in all we had a good week and I’ll have a little break now before heading to altitude for a couple of weeks.”

Head sports director Massimo Podenzana:

Today wasn’t a day for us and we knew that in advance so we wanted to try one last time to get in the break again, but the move went early and we were out of position. That meant that the attention shifted to David and Peter trying to do their best to stay with the leaders on the climbs.”

“The guys have worked hard all week to try and break into the top ten and they displayed the same desire again today, but it was a step too far for us and the last time up the Kekesteto climb saw the definitive splits appear and that’s where we came unstuck. David and Peter hung on and they both did well to stay up there until the last 2km.”

— Tim Lindley to www.teamnovonordisk.com

Queen stage all about survival for Team Novo Nordisk

Sports director Gennady Mikhaylov:

“The Queen Stage. The toughest of the race and for us it certainly played out that way. We lost contact on the first climb, made it back in and then we dropped again on the big HC category climb to Poklon.”

“From there it was about survival for us and making sure we stuck together and made it to the finish. We were part of a big group and we made it. Tomorrow is all about working for Andrea, giving him as much help as possible until the last moment and going for a result so we can end the season on a high.”

Filippo Ridolfo:

“I am really tired now. I felt good the first three stages and then yesterday I started to feel the season in my legs. Today I realized how much higher the level of this race is to what I’m used to and how happy I am to be racing here and holding my own.

“We all worked hard together today and when we regrouped after the main climb, we rode as a team to the finish. I think it’s been great to get this experience in my legs at this stage of my career and I’m looking forward to the finish in Zagreb tomorrow. We’ll give our all for Andrea tomorrow and try our best to position him at the front for the last sprint of the year.”

— Tim Lindley to www.teamnovonordisk.com

STEVIE WILLIAMS WINS CRO RACE QUEEN STAGE AND LEADS GC

Stevie Williams took a solo win and the red jersey on the queen and penultimate stage of Cro race.
Only 137.7 kilometres long, stage 5 was the make or break for the GC, with several teams looking to place themselves in the red jersey ahead of stage 6.

The action started from the beginning in Rabac as Hermann Pernsteiner, and Lazkano (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) pulled out of the peloton to break. The two of them escaped the main group and won the first mountain goal of the day, the ascent to Gračišće, with Hermann taking the top points. After that, a passing goal in Pazin awaited, and Hermann was the first again.

On the way from Viškovo to Rijeka, Yates and Stevie Williams were joined at the head of the race by Riccardo Zoidl (Felbermayr Simplon Wels) as the trio managed to create a half-minute advantage over a group of about 20 riders. In both Viškovo and Rijeka, Stevie was strongest on through the passing goal. The trio then took advantage of the unorganized chasing group from Rijeka to Opatija and increased their advantage to almost a minute. Despite the chasers eventually closing the gap by 30 seconds, it was not enough to catch the trio out front.

In the final few kilometres, Stevie was able to accelerate away from Yates and Zoidl and solo to victory. Stevie was delighted with the win: “I was afraid after the first passage through Opatija that they would catch me since we did a lot of stages and I was afraid that there was no freshness in my legs. However, somewhere three kilometres to the finish, I realized that I still had a freshness and could still pick up the pace.

My teammates positioned me well on the start of the climb Učka, which started very hard on the bottom. The group gradually got smaller and smaller. As the group, we were very lucky with Hermann’s position and Santiago in the group behind, so it was perfect for me to be with Simon. I was able to use them. I am proud of the way I raced. I am really happy to take this win for the team and myself. I am over the moon now. I am also happy to take the lead GC, and I am expecting a tough race tomorrow. I will give everything, and hopefully, I will come out with the red jersey.”

Satisfied Sports director Franco Pellizotti commented on Stevie’s win: “I am happy for the win but especially because the win goes to Stevie, who has in previous seasons suffered a lot. He succeeded in progress and went through difficult times, and here is the result. I am super happy for him.”

(All pictures can be used for editorial and non-commercial usages only and are copyright CRO race / KL Photo @TeamBahrainVictorious)

— Simona Mazzoleni to bahraincyclingteam.com

Woods wins Romandie queen stage


Israel Start-Up Nation’s team leader Michael Woods put on an impressive performance to claim victory on stage 4 of Tour de Romandie. Woods is also the new race leader!

With five categorized climbs, over 4,000 meters of climbing and a 20 km long final ascent with an average gradient of 7.7 %, today’s stage was always going to be extremely important for the general classification.

Early on, a breakaway of seven riders managed to distance the peloton. Mads Würtz Schmidt was quick to follow the moves and join the group. The break quickly opened up a gap of over five minutes, but the teams of the GC riders were not going to let the stage win slip away.

On the final climb of the day, the last rider from the breakaway got caught and then it was up to the favorites to fight for victory. Woods did well to stay in contention, always following the right moves before trying to go solo.

At the end, only Woods and Geraint Thomas (INEOS) remained at the front. In the final sprint, Thomas crashed leaving Woods to cross the line first and take the stage win and the yellow jersey.

Michael Woods: “I was really happy with the race today, really proud with how the team rode and how my legs felt. The guys just did such a great job in delivering me and Mads got into the breakaway and was able to help position me for the final climb. I had really good legs and, ya, just felt awesome. Didn’t want to take the yellow the way I took it, I didn’t want to see Geraint Thomas go down the way he did, but it’s special to be in a yellow jersey at a WorldTour race. I’m really proud of myself and hopefully I can land a podium tomorrow.”

— MC to israelcyclingacademy.com