Popkov solos to stage 1 win

Nasty weather splits up peloton early

The 3rd Tour of Szeklerland (UCI 2.2) started on Friday (7th of August) with its queen stage, a 192 km long hilly run, with four categorised climbs in the most beautiful regions of Szeklerland. 127 riders took the start from Csíkszereda in pouring rain and cold temperatures.

Right after the start the peloton split apart and a 9-man group formed, including the Hungarian champion István Cziráki (Betonexpressz 2000 –Limonta), former Tour de France competitor, Aurelian Passeron (Tusnad Cycling Team), Luka Rakusa (Motomat Delo Revije), Tomas Okrouhlicky and Ondrej Zelinka (both AC Sparta Praha), and Ukranian Vitalij Popkov (ISD-Donyeck).

The peloton never reached the front group again, whom shared the worked until the 30 k to go banner, where Popkov attacked his compatriots. As the Ukranian powered to the stage win, the cheasers of 8 was divided in 2 groups on the day's last climb, 16 k from the finish.

At the end Popkov won the stage with 1 minute margin ahead of the others, Cziráki took second, and Rakusa arrived in third place.

1Vitalij Popkov (Ukr) ISD Sports Donyeck  
2Cziráki István (Hun) Betonexpressz 2000-Limonta  
3Luka Rakusa (Slo) Motomat Delo Revije  
General classification after stage 1
1Vitalij Popkov (Ukr) ISD Sports Donyeck  
2Luka Rakusa (Slo) Motomat Delo Revije  
3Cziráki István (Hun) Betonexpressz 2000-Limonta  


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