TOUR DE HONGRIE IN NUMBERS:
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Like the phoenix, the Tour de Hongrie has been reborn from the ashes.
First created in 1925 in Budapest, the Tour de Hongrie was very popular and incredibly successful until it was stopped in 1965.
It was not until 1993 that the event was re-launched by the Hungarian Cycling Federation. This lasted until 2009, when it was replaced by the larger Central European Tour.
However thanks to the passion and the work of locals, the Tour de Hongrie started once again in 2015. It then became a category 2.2, attracting some of the best young riders in the world.
The event grew from strength to strength, and last year was awarded a category 2.1 by the UCI. This included more prestigious teams, this year for example, Cofidis Solutions Credit, Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec, Neri Sottoli-Selle Italia and Israel Cycling Academy. They all are Continental Pro teams who are competing year in year out on the Grand Tours (Tour de France, Giro and Vuelta).
The title holder, Manuel Belletti (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) will be present this year to defend his title. Last year, he took the leader’s jersey after winning the 2nd stage and kept it until the end, winning his first stage race ever.
Belletti looks in great shape to defend his title this year. He just finished the Tour of Italy where he finished within the Top 10 four times in sprint stages.
Another famous rider travelling to Hungary is the Italian veteran of 36 years, Giovanni Visconti (Neri Sottoli-Selle Italia). Three times Italian champion (2007, 2010, 2011) and two time winner of stages on the Giro (in 2013), the legend from Turin, is coming to Hungary with one goal and one goal only; his final victory.
Another sprinter who is coming to win at least one stage is the Frenchman Hugo Hosfstetter from team Cofidis, Credits Solutions. At just 25 years old, he is a very promising rider, who is good either in the massive sprints or in the Spring Classics. His past races include a 5th place at the GP of Frankfurt a few weeks ago, 2nd of the GP of Denain last year, and he managed an impressive 19th place at the Paris-Roubaix last spring.
In this same team, a very regular all-rounder, the Spaniard Luis Angel Maté, who is riding his 12th season at the highest level. The 35-year-old Andalusian comes to Hungary to try to win his first stage race of his career; he has participated in 13 Grand Tours and has already finished 19th on the Vuelta.
But the Hungarian fans will have eyes only for their star, a future idol of the world of cycling, the one on which rests all the hopes of the fans of cycling in Hungary : Attila Valter (CCC Development Team), best young rider last year in the Tour de Hongrie. With a first name that can make his opponents shake on their pedals, the young Magyar climber participate in 7 stage races this year: he finished six times in the top 10 (including 4 podiums). The 2019 Tour de Hongrie is his main goal. This is a way to reinforce his leadership on cycling in his country but also a perfect way to continue his progression and to be part of a WorldTour team next year. Valter will be helped by his teammate, the Polish Kamil Malecki, who finished second here last year.
We can also note the presence of the tireless Czech cyclist Jan Bárta (Elkov-Author) who went back to his home country to help his young compatriots. But no retirement for the eternal striker, 6-time national champion and winner of the prestigious Settimana Coppi e Bartali; he won the Tour du Loir-et-Cher this year. With Bárta, one thing is sure: there will be a show … and lots of breakaways!
The 40th Tour de Hongrie will take place from the 11th to the16th of June 2019.
The 132 riders will visit the heart of the Magyar country for six stages, with a diversity of profiles including: flat, and mountainous terrains. All the sprinters, the punchers and climbers will have the opportunity to show off all their skills and qualities.
To inaugurate this Tour de Hongrie: A flat 4km-prologue in the seaside resort of Siófok, along the Lake Balaton. This is the largest lake in Central Europe and a time-trial specialist should be wearing the leaders jersey of this 40th Tour de Hongrie.
Despite two uphill climbs in the last 50 kilometers, we are expecting a massive sprint at the end of the first stage (194km) between Velence (Venice in Hungarian) and the former capital of the country, Esztergom.
The second stage between Balassagyarmat and Miskolc is made for the attackers thanks to two hard climbs. A breakaway can have hopes. and only strong climbers will be able to face the altitude differences over the length of this 201km stage.
In an interesting twist to this year’s Tour, stage three on the 4th day of the Tour will have two half-stages, one of 115km in the morning and another of 65km in the afternoon. And it’s gonna be a day for all the sprinter’s!
The day before the finish, the 4th stage, it’s time for the queen stage, between Karcag (the city of the national dish: the goulash!) and Gyöngyös-Kékestető with a very hard final, a real wall to climb. The climb that takes you to the highest point of the country (1,014 meters). The overall winner, which will advantage the pure climbers, will probably be decided at the top of this mountain.
Finally, the 5th and final stage 169km long, between Kecskemét and Székesfehérvár will be once again dedicated by the sprinters. But only the riders who managed to digest the climb from the day before
will be in with a chance of winning this final sprint. It won’t necessarily be the best sprinters who will win, but the freshest.
Siófok, Tuesday, June 11th 2019 – Barta smiles. Neilands cries. The czech rider wins the prologue for only 34 hundredth on the Latvian champion. On a flat and technical 4km-prologue, Jan Barta (Elkov-Author Cycling Team) was the fastest man today during the opening prologue of the 40th edition of the Tour de Hongrie, in Siófok, along the Balaton lake. Krists Neilands (Isreal Cycling Academy) finished 2nd even if he thought about the victory until the end of the race. The third man is the Polish guy Piotr Brozyna riding for CCC Development Team.
1. Jan Barta (Elkov)
2. Krists Neilands (Israel Cycling Academy) s.t.
3. Piotr Brozyna (CCC Development) +0:02
4. August Jensen (Israel Cycling Academy) s.t.
5. Dusan Rajovic (Adria Mobil) s.t.