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Stanisław Aniołkowski wins stage 1 of the ΔΕΗ Tour of Ηellas – Aaron Gate retains the blue jersey

Stanisław Aniołkowski wins stage 1 of the ΔΕΗ Tour of Ηellas –  Aaron Gate retains the blue jersey

The winner of stage 1 of the ΔΕΗ Tour of Hellas was decided after an exciting mass sprint finale held at the port of Heraklion. Human Powered Health's Stanislav Aniołkowski narrowly beat Caja Rural's Iúri Leitao of Portugal and celebrated his fourth career victory, while Tyler Stites of the United States U23 team completed the podium.

Blue jersey holder Aaron Gate of Bolton Equities Black Spoke finished inside the first group who covered the 187.7 km in 4 hours and 35 minutes, and managed to maintain the first position of the general classification.

Nine seconds adrift, in second place, lies Gate’s teammate, Rory Townsend, while Aniołkowski climbed to third, as with the ten-second bonus granted to him for the stage victory, he cut the difference from the lead to 12 seconds.

The white jersey was maintained by Logan Carey, also a Bolton Equities Black Spoke rider, while the red jersey now belongs to Rémi Lelandais of Team Legendre and the orange to Polish Tomasz Budzinski of Mazowsze Serce Polski.

How the race evolved

The pre-start took place at the Karteros Beach Sports Center. The weather conditions were not favourable for the riders with light rain and strong tailwinds, headwinds, and sometimes sidewinds making their life hard.

Lelandais, Nils Sinschek (Abloc CT), Vinzent Dorn (Bike Aid), Jeroen Meijers (Polygon Cycling Team), and Miltiadis Giannoutsos of the Greek National Team, joined forces for the first breakaway and were caught a little later by Budzinski.

When it came time for the first KoM (cat. 2), Dorn attacked and took the first six points. He followed by Meijers (4 pts), Budzinski (2), and Giannoutsos (1).

In the first intermediate sprint, it was Lelandais’ turn to take the three points. The French was followed by Budzinski, and Sinschek. In the second intermediate sprint Dorn, Budzinski, Lelandais grabbed the respective points.

Soon after, the breakaway split in two, with Budzinski and Dorn going ahead and Giannoutsos and Sinchek trailing behind.

When Dorn was cooked, Budzinski was left alone with less than 33 kilometres to go. The Pole took maximum points from the second KoM and claimed the orange jersey, which was clearly his goal. He was followed in the second cat. 2 KoM, by Cypriot Andreas Miltiadis, Bingoal's Johan Meens and Team Corratec's Davide Baldaccini.

About 14 kilometres before the end, Budzinski was swallowed up by the peloton as well and everybody got themselves prepared for the final sprint, which finished with Aniołkowski’s triumph.


Stanislav Aniołkowski: “Amazing job from all my teammates as I only needed to finish this job. The Black Spokes controlled the race, but we had our goal to go for the final sprint.

 “I've been waiting for this victory for two years, so this is a special day for me.

“We came to fight for the stage races, but also for the GCC, as now the difference is only 12 seconds with three stages to go. For sure will fight for the bonus seconds for the GCC”.

Aaron Gate: "It was a strong breakaway. My team did a great job, I didn’t have to do much, big thanks to them.

 “It was harder than anticipating. We had two small crashes earlier in the stage but hopefully they are all OK for tomorrow”.

Logan Curry: “It was a good day in the end for us. It is not over yet.

 “It’s been awesome here, it’s been great racing here. I will definitely bring my girlfriend back here and going on a good holiday.”

Tomasz Budzinski: “When I saw the gap with the peloton, I tried to fight for the mountains classification. My goal is to keep it and I will fight in the climb.”

Rémi Lelandais: “It's my first breakaway in a class one race and it's nice to have the red jersey in the end.”