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Timothy Dupont wins bunch sprint in Kalamata – New ΔΕΗ Tour of Hellas record holder, Aaron Gate retains the blue jersey

Timothy Dupont wins bunch sprint in Kalamata – New ΔΕΗ Tour of Hellas record holder, Aaron Gate retains the blue jersey

Belgian Timothy Dupont crossed the finish line first in Kalamata to give Tarteletto – Isorex a prestigious stage victory in the ΔΕΗ Tour of Hellas.

Stage 2 started in Mycenae and the riders had to tackle a demanding 170.3 kilometres stage with many attacks and breakaways taking place. Bunch sprint saw the 35-year-old Dupont snatching the ninth win of his career.

There were no major changes in the battle for the blue jersey, with the exception of Portugal's Iuri Leitao of Caja Rural moving up to third place, ten seconds behind runaway leader Aaron Gate. The New Zealander has yet to see someone else ahead of him in the Tour of Hellas since 2022, and now has spent eight stages on top of the race, which is a new record for the flagship race of Hellenic Cycling.

Gate finished within the group of 74 who were given the same time (3:54.20), as was overall runner-up Rory Townsend, also of Bolton Equities Black Spoke.

The only jersey that changed hands was the orange, which now belongs to Czech Jakub Otruba of ATT Investments.

Rémi Lelandais of Cross Team Legendre kept the red jersey and Logan Curry of Bolton Equities Black Spoke the white one, for the best U23 rider.

How the race evolved

The pace was frantic from the start with successive attacks, but the peloton did not let those involved in the breakaways get away.

A fresh attack ahead of the first intermediate sprint awarded the first points to Tomáš Jakoubek (ATT Investments), Jambaljamts Sainbayar (Terengganu Polygon Cycling Team) and Dawit Yemane (Bike Aid).

Efforts for a new breakaway group followed and a new group of eight athletes formed ahead of Achladokamposq the toughest climb of this year's Tour.

Otruba got the maximum points (10), and was followed by Yemane (8), Sainbayar (6), Alessandro Santaromita Villa of Green Project Bardiani CFS Faizane (4), Jefferson Cepeda of Caja Rural (2), and Simon Combes of Cross Team Legendre (1).

The second intermediate sprint took place in the city of Tripoli with Otruba being the winner again; Yemane was second and Cepeda third.

The peloton caught the breakaway again before the second KoM. Cypriot Andreas Miltiadis attacked and managed to get the 6 points from the cat 2 KoM. Behind him, Bingoal's Johan Meens won 4 points, Mazowsze Serce Polski's Tomasz Budzinski 2 and Terengganu Polygon Cycling Team's Ukrainian Anatolii Budiak 1.

The last attack came from a group of three: Corteam Corratec's Davide Baldaccini, Green Project Bardiani CFS Faizane's Manuele Tarozzi, and American Finn Gullickson (USA U23), who won 3, 2, and 1 point respectively in the final KoM to Paradisia.

Entering the city of Kalamata, Gullickson was the first to run out of gas and dropped. In the final stretch, on the coastal road of Kalamata, the peloton "swallowed up" the other two as well, and then after the bunch sprint it was Dupont who raised his arms high and won the crowd’s big applause.


Aaron Gate: “Taking back to the stage start it looks like it was days ago. The stage had so many parts, so much excitements. There were times I felt a little stressed about losing control of the situation, but my teammates seem to find every time another gear.

“It was impressive to have five of us in the finish including Ryan (Christensen) who did a lot of work in the early part of the race. It was a much harder stage than most people – including me – expected, with different combinations of breakaways. We worked hard to keep the jersey.

“The race is still wide open with a lot of bonuses left. The next stage suits me with an uphill, my sort of sprint. I would like to win the stage”. 

Logan Curry: “We tried to open the race up for ourselves. The next few days won’t be so hard. We need to just watch the key riders. If we see any opportunity to open up the race again we will definitely take control of that. Can’t wait for the last two days”.

Jakub Otruba: “The goal was to go into the breakaway, during the first climb. The next stages are a little bit easier, so its’ going to be about the bonus seconds. We will try to be in the top five. I will try to keep the red jersey, but we will also seek to defend the 5th GCC place.  

Timothy Dupont: “It was hard to catch the breakaway. I told my team we are at least four and two of us can go full gas. I told them that if the difference would be 1:20-1:30 maybe we wouldn’t be able to catch them. I talked to Peter (Bauwens) and he said ‘come on go full gas’.

“I am quite fast but it’s never easy to win a race. It was a hard race with a lot of mountains, but the team did a great job and I survived. It’s a good result for the team.”

Rémi Lelandais: “I did all my best to take the points in the first sprint but it wasn’t enough. After the first climb I dropped but I wasn’t left alone. It’s nice to keep the jersey. We need to check with the finish points”.