After Malucelli, another Italian Fortin will wear the yellow jersey

After Malucelli, another Italian Fortin will wear the yellow jersey

Tour of Slovakia race with it’s 59th year just ended it’s first stage, which was 181,1 km long and headed from Šahy to Telgárt. At 12am, 130 riders stood on the starting line. Filippo Fortin of GM Cycling Team was the first to reach to finish line by bunch sprint. He will wear the yellow jersey for an individual with the best time tomorrow for the second stage. Fortin also raced himself the white jersey with blue dots for an individual with the highest number of points. Maxim Averin of Synergy-Baku was the second rider to cross the finish line and the third rider to finish the race was Davide Vigano of Team Idea 2010 ASD.

The main bunch in the finish line watched the back of the rider number 81 – Fortin. „It was a difficult race. Team worked well for me and that’s why I won. I feel good and I’m happy about today’s result,“ summed up the Italian rider. When asked about two earned jerseys, he replied that they are important to him and that he will try to keep them. Riders tried a few leaks, despite their group arrival. Slovakian representative Juraj Sagan was in one of these leaks. „It was very tense all day. Every team tried to get his rider into the leak. I was able to run once, but we were a group of 25 members and that was a lot. The whole stage was rather fast,“ said the older brother of Sagan and added: „During the stage, we were trying to prepare it for Michael Kolář but they closed us and after that it was vain. Today, racing speed was very high.“

Another Slovakian, Maroš Kováč of KEMO Dukla Trenčín, did something more significant during the course of the race. He had won two speed bonuses. „I didn’t get to enjoy the bonuses, because I was going on full steam. And there was a lot of people to my surprise. Since the times of Peter Sagan, Slovakia watches the races more often and now that Juraj is racing as well, it’s even more of a plus,“ said this seasoned rider of Dukla, who will wear the t-shirt for the best Slovakian before the second stage. Kováč tried to win even the last speed bonus, but was outrunned by Matej Marin of austrian Team Felbermayr – Simplin Wels and Andrej Kulyk of ukrainian Kolss BDC Team. Kováč won seven points and the same number of bonus seconds. If he’d ended the race as seventh and not eight, he would have gotten four points and be the first in the points competition. „I felt good. We tried to go to the finish line with Renzo, but his feet were failing and so I tried it,“ Kováč added. Special financial bonus awaited the riders in Zvolen. Martin Boubal of CK Příbram Fany Gastro had won this bonus. Davide Vigano will wear the hill jersey and the competition for riders till 23 years old is lead by Lucas Gaday, who will still have the white jersey, which he had symbolically dressed already after the exhibition.

The start of the second stage on Thursday from Telgárt to  Poprad is at 12:30am. The stage is 158,6 km long and riders can be seen in 23 towns and villages in Slovakia. Riders will fight for points in three speed bonuses (two times in Spišská Sobota and once in Ostruni) and five mountain bonuses (in Popová, Dubiná, Magura, Bystrá and on Hanušov saddle.