Race: 2018 Tour de Hongrie, Stage 4
Location: Karcag / Miskolc, Hungary
Distance: 182 kilometers
MISKOLC, HUNGARY – Saturday’s Queen Stage at the 2019 Tour de Hongrie put Team Novo Nordisk to the test with a hot, fast chase across the Tisa river from Karcag to the bustling regional capital of Miskolc.
After a quick blast through the city, Charles Planet rode at the front of a full peloton into the 30km of hills that soon divided the race’s 124 riders into more than half a dozen groups that gradually widened on the blind curves shaded by acres of forest.
When the riders emerged into the streets of Mikolc for the final sprint, Planet was in the third split, chasing hard. The French rider led his gruppetto of 14 riders across the line. The gap to first was too large to keep his podium chances alive, but the fighting spirit was no less great.
The Tour de Hongrie concludes on Sunday with a stage from Karcag to Miskolc, and a mostly flat day until the final 35km, with a first category climb that will test the peloton’s tired legs and likely decide the bike race before a fast rush downhill to a flat finish.
“I did my best, there’s no doubt, and I kept my pace on the climb and could see the leaders to the top. On the descent those at the front with teammates had a natural advantage, and in my group it was pirates with long knives. That’s cycling and I did what I could to respect the work of my teammates to get me across the river..”
“Cycling is difficult. If it was easy, it wouldn’t have as much drama or excitement. Charles experienced a great range of emotions today, and managed the pressure with excellent professionalism. He fought all week in tiny skirmishes to keep his podium spot, and this was an epic stage for him. We’re proud of how hard he pushed himself, and it is days like today that we can look back on from future victories as the spark that set the flame.”
1st: HOLLER Nikodemus Holler (Bike Aid): 4:08:44
2nd: Manuel Belletti (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec): same time as Holler
3rd: MAŁECKI Kamil Malecki (CCC Sprandi Polkowice): ”
29th: Charles Planet: 4:06 behind Holler
(Photos: ©René Vigneron)