The fight for the general classification of the 2023 ΔΕΗ Tour of Hellas went down to the wire at the fourth and final stage of the race, some 200 metres far from the Ancient Stadium of Olympia.
Iuri Leitao of Caja Rural, who had never before registered a cycling race victory, used a final strong sprint on the cobbled main road of Ancient Olympia to finish second in the stage, right behind Stanislaw Aniolkowski of Human Powered Health and take the precious six seconds bonus that placed him higher than anyone else in the general classification. That second place also awarded the Portuguese rider the red jersey.
The bonus seconds were decisive for Leitao’s Tour victory, as 32.2 kilometres from the start in Costa Navarino, his main rival for the blue jersey, Aaron Gate of Bolton Equities Black Spoke gained a valuable bonus second, finishing third in the first intermediate sprint.
There were no changes in the KoM and Younger Rider classification as well.
Andreas Miltiadis, pulled off a fantastic effort to beat Tyler Stites of the US U23 team and claim all six points from the cat. 2 KoM in Pyrgos Trifylia. A feat that secured the orange jersey very early in the stage for the Cypriot.
With his second place in the intermediate sprint in Marathopolis, Miltiadis ranked sixth in the general classification behind Leitao, Gate, Aniolkowski, Rory Townsend of Bolton Equities Black Spoke and Jakub Otrouba of ATT Investments.
Bolton Equities Black Spoke's Logan Carey crossed the finish inside the bunch in 2h 56mins and 20 secs and comfortably retained the white jersey for the best young rider (U23) which he had worn since the first day of the Tour.
The white jersey was the goodbye token from this year's Tour for the team from New Zealand, which won the Tour in 2022 with Aaron Gate.
“I am super happy. There was a big fight in all these days. We showed that we have a strong team, I couldn’t have won this race without my teammates’ support.
“When Gate got that bonus second, they took the upper hand. On the other side, it was because of the help of Bolton Equities Black Spoke that we made it, because it was not on our shoulders to set the pace and bring back the breakaway.
“In the final straight I just had to sprint. In the final hill I had two guys with me. We didn’t have to go full gas
“But then the guys went full gas until the last 400 metres and in the sprint I could catch the group of Aaron Gate. I lost the sprint but winning the GC is more important.
“It’s incredible for me to bring a stage and a tour victory, which was unthinkable before the race. Super important for the team”.
“Awesome race for us, great job from the team and fantastic lead out. They did a great job yesterday as well but I wasn’t very confident in the last corner and lost lot of position. Today we were amazing quick.
“We took a lot of speed in the final descent, we passed the guy on the front and Iuri made the long sprint with great effort. I was waiting for the last moment and won it. It was very fast, I didn’t have any more gear to change.
“After the first stage I thought about winning the race but in the end it was not possible and I am happy with all we achieved in the race. A dream week for the team and for me as well.
“The organisation was awesome and the stage so good, with sprint and everything cycling can show to people, a really good race. I would like to be here in Greece in 2024 as well”.
"Being a Cypriot makes me happy to be in Greece in this historic place. I really enjoyed the Tour of Hellas.
I came here aiming high for the general classification. I was fourth in the Prologue and managed to win the orange jersey, due to some minor details that favoured me on the second day in Heraklion.
“I am happy with the sixth GC position and hope to come back for the 2024 Tour of Hellas”.
“We tried for the bonus and we got it. We felt pretty confident and we had a plan for the finish as well but obviously didn’t quite pull it off.
“The Caja Rural boys did really well, there wasn’t much to do.
“I am very happy to hold on to the white jersey.
“It’s awesome to be here in Ancient Olympia. Loved the place and the country”.