The Hellenic Cycling Federation announced the composition of the National Team of Greece, which will participate in the ΔΕΗ Tour of Hellas between May 2-6. The selection was made by national coach, Fotis Zegklis, who came up with the six riders he believes are in the best possible condition and may rise to the occasion in this year's race.
These riders are, Miltiadis Giannoutsos (Aiolos), Ioannis Davarias (Overall Cycling Team), Nikolaos Michail Drakos (A.S.D. Aries Cycling), Periklis Ilias (Kronos Nikaias), Giorgos Bouglas (Kronos Nikaias), and Polychronis Tzortzakis (Talos).
Charalambos Kastrantas (Aiolos), Martinos Moutsios (Panathinaikos), and Ioannis Varotsos (P.O. Patron) are the team’s substitutes.
The team will be supported as well by coach Nikos Koumbenakis and curator Yiannis Papastamatakis.
In regards with his participation at the Tour, Polychronis Tzortzakis says: “I feel overwhelmed. The ΔΕΗ Tour of Hellas is a target-race for me. I need to be in good shape and fight for the best. I think my teammates feel the same way too.”
Giorgos Bouglas, who missed last year's event, adds: “Unfortunately I was not able to witness the revival of the Tour of Hellas in 2022, due to a serious injury I suffered in the Tour of Turkey, but this year I am ready. The target is to collect valuable points along with my teammates on the road to qualification for the 2024 Olympic Games”.
The Greek National Team has taken part in three international competitions. The team got off to a flying start at the Tour of Sharjah in the UAE, where Tzortzakis, Bouglas, Ilias, Arvanitou, Drakos, and Zegklis, put on a great performance, to finish 6th in the team classification.
Then came the three races of Rhodes. Bouglas owned the red jersey (Points leader) for two days, and ranked 36th in the overall classification. Panagiotis Christopoulos was 48th, Tzortzakis 57th, Drakos 58th, and Nikiforos Arvanitou 64th.
The last to date race for the Hellenic National Team was the one-day event in Syedra Ancient City, in Turkey which ended on a high note; Tzortzakis took victory, Ilias finished third, and Giorgos Bouglas ranked 4th!
The Greeks impressive performance in Turkey (under the supervision by coach Giorgos Maniatis), granted them 85 valuable points, in their quest for an Olympic berth.