Greece

International Tour of Rhodes

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6 Mar - 8 Mar 2020

TEAM Pro Team

STAGES 3

TEAM Pro Team STAGES 3

Strong Ride for Kusztor on Stage 1 at the International Rhodes Tour

Date: 6th March 2020

Race: International Rhodes Tour, Stage 1

Start/Finish: Rhodes – Maritsa, Greece

Distance: 149.8 kilometers

 

Peter Kusztor (HUN)

I am really satisfied with my performance today. For the first race, there is always the big question hanging over you about your condition and how the winter training and preparation went. I felt really good on the bike, which is a good sign.

Positioning was important today. Over the four finishing circuits, we knew that it would be pretty fast and hectic and that we would have to be up at the front, so I tried to be with the first 20 riders as we hit the closing laps.

It was really technical, with many corners, dirty roads and quite some stress in the bunch. Despite that, when I looked around me, I could see I was one of the stronger guys, so on the last lap, I tried to make a move to see if I could create a small group that would go to the line.

For a short time, it worked. As I looked around I thought, “Okay, we have a pretty good gap now,” but there wasn’t much cooperation in the group and unfortunately we were caught with around 500 meters to go. Even then, I expected the bunch to come flying past, but only a few guys did, so everyone must have been on the limit and I managed to kick again and sprint into 13th place.

The signs are really positive from today and day-by-day, we will get stronger.


Next Up:

On Saturday, the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team will continue to show what’s possible with diabetes on Stage 2 at the International Rhodes Tour with a 145-kilometer race that starts near Rhodes’s harbor and historic center and follows the coast before cutting inland for a hilly loop and a finish in Paradeisi.


 

Photo Credit: Nassos Triantafyllou

 

Near Podium for Benhamouda

Date: 7th March 2020

Race: International Rhodes Tour, Stage 2

Start/Finish: Rhodes – Paradeisi, Greece

Distance: 145 kilometers

 

Mehdi Benhamouda (FRA)

The plan was to keep me as close to the front as possible because we knew it was probably the last chance for the sprinters to get a result. The team worked well throughout the day and helped me stay up front.

It was quite a hectic sprint, but I like that. Although I’m disappointed to have come so close to third place and getting on the podium, I am pleased with fourth. We worked hard as a team, followed the plan, and almost got the result we wanted.

The climbs came during the middle of the stage. It was important to be in the right place to save energy and not to lose contact if the peloton split.

When we came over the climbs, I was well protected by my teammates and we fought hard to maintain our position. Going uphill is never easy for a sprinter, but today was ok, especially considering that I had some bad luck and crashed on the opening stage. I’ve luckily recovered and was able to fight for the result today.

 


Next Up:

On Sunday, the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team will continue to show what’s possible with diabetes with the final stage at the International Rhodes Tour. Stage 3 covers 163.3 kilometers and starts and finishes by one of the original seven wonders of the world, the Colossus of Rhodes. It will be the decisive day for the general classification and includes close to 2,000 meters of climbing.

 

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Kusztor Takes Sixth on Final Stage at Rhodes

Date: 8th March 2020

Race: International Rhodes Tour, Stage 3

Start/Finish: Rhodes/Rhodes, Greece

Distance: 156 kilometers

 

Peter Kusztor (HUN)

The final stage of the International Rhodes Tour had the most climbing of the three-day race. A breakaway of three guys went straight out of the neutral zone, which the leading GC teams let go.

We knew that there could be opportunities because of the climbs, so I tried to attack and take some guys with me. We created a small gap but couldn’t bridge over to the leading trio. The bunch ended up bringing us back. After this, I tried to relax a little, refueled, and prepared for the next climb.

The bunch was reducing the gap, and as we hit the steepest parts of the climbs, I couldn’t stay with the first ten guys, so I rode my tempo and made it back on the descents.

The last 50 kilometers to the finish was hard racing. I was part of a group of around 20-riders, and we caught the original breakaway with maybe two kilometers to go. I

Usually, I don’t sprint very well, but I could see who the fastest guys were and tried to position myself on the right wheel as we hit the final meters.

I’m happy with sixth place in a sprint against some big, fast guys. Overall, we had a really positive experience here in Rhodes. It’s a great part of the job getting to go to new places. For me and the entire squad here, it was a good start to the season.


Result

In addition to sprinting to sixth on Stage 3, Hungarian Peter Kusztor finished 10th overall, 0:26 behind overall race winner Søren Waerenskjold (Joker Fuel of Norway).

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