Lennert Teugels of Tarteletto Isorex smart last kick awards him stage 3 victory at the ΔΕΗ International Tour of Hellas stage 3

Lennert Teugels of Tarteletto Isorex smart last kick awards him stage 3 victory at the ΔΕΗ International Tour of Hellas stage 3

Bolton Equities Blackspoke’s Aaron Gate stayed on top jersey despite crush

An exciting last 300m sprint outside the Municipal Stadium of Karditsa decided the winner of stage 3 of the ΔΕΗ International Cycling Tour of Hellas, which started from the “navel of earth”, in Delphi.

The winner was Lennert Teugels of Tarteletto Isorex, who finished ahead of Edoardo Zardini of Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli and Pericles Ilias of the Greek national team, in front of hundreds of cycling fans who flock to watch the finale of the 171.6 km stage.

It was the Belgian’s maiden victory and the first podium for the Italian in his ten-year professional career! As far as Pericles Ilias is concerned, it was the third time he finished inside the top three at the Hellenic Tour.

"I did not really expect to win because I was not the fastest in the group of 17, but I was briefed well by the team that the last turn was sharp and like dangerous.

I saw everyone going with 60 km/h, and I said this is not going to work. So, I was the first one to break and first one who didn’t crush. It was a technical finish.

My plan was to try something in the fifth stage, but the race went fantastic for me today. I don’t know if I am that good climber to survive the Katara pass on the last day but we will see," said the victor who finished in 4 hours, 11 minutes and 57 seconds.

In Delphi, a special ceremony that took place before the stage pre-start enchanted and thrilled the attendants. A high priestess lit the stage’s flame and Greek national champion Polychronis Tzortzakis took the Oath of the athletes. The ritual was performed by the art and Dance group ATRAPOS and the musical group SAOS - SAOS.

The blue jersey remained in the hands of Aaron Gate of Bolton Equities Blackspoke despite the crush the New Zealander suffered along with other riders at the last curve. Since the incident took place within the last three kilometres, Gate's fall did not affect his time and ranking in the general classification.

The race

The first breakaway attempt was made within the first 5 kms of the first climb. Alessandro Monaco of the Giotti-Victoria Savini Due took the first KoM and 6 points at the Fokida Mining Park, but orange jersey holder James Fuche’s of Bolton Equities Blackspoke second place earned him the right to retain it for the third consecutive day.

Another breakaway was made by Meijers of Terenggany Polygon and Etxeberria of Caja Rural who fought for the first intermediate sprint in Lianokladi with the winner being the former.

Soon after that sprint and on the way to Trilofo, a group of 17 cyclists attacked and caught Meijers and Etxeberria. At kilometre 135 the gap from the peloton was at 1’35’’ and therefore the battle for the second KoM in Trilofo took place between them with the winner being Svestad of Team Coop.

In Kallifoni, the second intermediate sprint winner was Mark Stewart of Bolton Equities Blackspoke and then only 16.5 kilometres separated the leading group from the tricky last part of the race.

With Bolton Equities Blackspoke blue jersey holder Aaron Gate and a few other riders out of contention due to a last curve crush, the victory was there to claim for those who survived the crush. Teugels attacked first before the crush and that was the key-move that earned him the stage trophy.

The Tour resumes tomorrow (30/4) with the 4th stage from Karditsa to Larissa.

Photo Credits: Tommaso Pelagalli & Nasos Triantafylou






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