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45th Tour de Hongrie Starts Today with World Stars and Huge Challenges

Hungary Today 2024.05.08.

With Peter Sagan and Mark Cavendish, two of the world stars who have dominated cycling for the last decade, and 12 Hungarian riders, fans can look forward to the 45th Tour de Hongrie, starting on Wednesday, May 8.

The Tour de Hongrie was first held in 1925, reports Hirado.hu. For sprinters preparing for the Tour de France, the first two stages (Hajdúszoboszló (eastern Hungary) and Kazincbarcika (northern Hungary)) are a great opportunity to prepare.

2011 World Championship gold medalist Mark Cavendish, who has dedicated this entire season to achieving his 35th career stage win in the summer Tour de France, overtaking sporting legend Eddy Merckx, has had a lackluster season so far, hence the Tour de Hongrie will be an important stage for him.

Mark Cavendish. Photo via Facebook/Mark Cavendish

He has been to Hungary before – albeit for the Giro d’Italia: two years ago he was the fastest in Balatonfüred (northern shore of Lake Balaton), and a bus stop in Zámoly (central Hungary) was named after him.

The outcome of the fourth stage is the hardest to predict: depending on the pace, sprinters could hold out, classic riders could be favored, or even a fast-footed climber could win in Etyek (central Hungary). A few years ago, it would have been the perfect terrain for Peter Sagan, but the three-time world champion is no longer competing at the World Tour level and is looking to qualify for the Paris Olympics in mountain biking as part of his preparations.

This will be the highest total ascent since the race was relaunched in 2015, at 7,871 meters,

the same as the 20th highest mountain on Earth, Ngadi Chuli in Nepal.

Etyek. Photo via Facebook/Optimus Winery Etyek

The two mountain stages, the third in Kékestető, and the final in Pécs (southwetsern Hungary), will account for a significant part of the climb. With the finish in Etyek (fourth stage), it is certain that a versatile cyclist will be the eventual winner of this year’s Tour de Hongrie, but it will not be easy for defending champion Marc Hirschi of Switzerland.

The third stage ends at Kékestető, Hungary’s highest mountain, at 1,014 meters. Photo via Facebook/Tour de Hongrie

The provisional start list shows that 12 Hungarian cyclists will be in the running: Erik Fetter, Ádám Karl, Balázs Rózsa, Zsolt Istlstekker, Gergő Orosz, Márk Valent, Márton Dina, Ádám Pápai, Barnabás Peák, Zétény Szijártó, Bálint Feldhoffer, and Viktor Filutás will fight for the white jersey of the best Hungarian cyclist. Peák was second in the overall in 2017, Dina in 2019, with the latter expected to do well on the uphill stages, Fetter may like the Etyek stage, and Karl may try to get a good result in the sprints.

Photo via Facebook/Réti Zsolt

In addition to white, the other distinctive jerseys will be the usual ones used in the Hungarian race: yellow for the overall leader, red for the mountain points leader, and green for the sprinters’ points leader.

The 45th Tour de Hongrie program:

  • Wednesday, May 8: stage 1, Karcag-Hajdúszoboszló, 166 km (altitude: 340 m)
  • Thursday May 9: stage 2, Tokaj-Kazincbarcika, 162 km (1,023 m)
  • Friday May 10: stage 3, Kazincbarcika – Gyöngyös-Kékestető, 183 km (2,716 m)
  • Saturday May 11: stage 4, Budapest-Etyek, 167 km (1,451 m)
  • Sunday May 12: stage 5, Siófok-Pécs, 173 km (2,341 m)

Distance: 851 km (total ascent: 7,871 m).

Winners of the Tour de Hongrie since its relaunch in 2015:

  • 2015: Tom Thill (Luxembourg)
  • 2016: Mihkel Räim (Estonia)
  • 2017: Daniel Jaramillo (Colombia)
  • 2018: Manuel Belletti (Italy)
  • 2019: Krists Neilands (Latvia)
  • 2020: Attila Valter (Hungary)
  • 2021: Damien Howson (Australia)
  • 2022: Edward Dunbar (Ireland)
  • 2023: Marc Hirschi (Switzerland)

Attila Valter. Photo via Facebook/Tour de Hongrie

This Year's Tour de Hongrie Route Unveiled
This Year's Tour de Hongrie Route Unveiled

120 cyclists from 20 teams will be competing.Continue reading

Via hirado.hu; Featured image via Facebook/Kaposvár

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