Amaro Antunes showed his climbing abilities taking 5th place in mountain top finish stage at Sibiu Cycling Tour, which ended with a 23-kilometer ascent.
Info: July 6th, Sibu – Balea Lac, 91,2km
Course: mountain top finish – 23km, avg. 6,2%, max. 9,1%
When you see that the stage is only 92km long, you know that one thing is certain – full gas right from the get-go. Especially if there is a small hill, early on. This is when the breakaway of the day was formed. Adriaan Janssen (Delta Cycling Rotterdam) and Daniel Crista (Romania) went clear and gained 4:20 on the bunch.
With 23km climb awaiting, such gap was never a concern for the peloton. They started closing in on the leaders, before the bottom of the decisive ascent and caught, Janssen, the last man standing, with 15km to go.
Majority of the work in the pursuit was done by CCC Sprandi Polkowice and Androni. The orange squad was preparing ground for Antunes’s move. Portuguese was climbing comfortably at the head of the main group and when it was reduced to just 8 riders, with 6km to go, he followed Ivan Sosa, who launched an attack. Also Maxim Rusnac was able to respond at that moment.
After another acceleration by Colombian, Antunes had to let him go and continue to ride at his own pace.
Those moves cost Antunes a lot of energy and eventually he finished in 5th place, 57 seconds behind the stage winner. That performance placed him in 5th place overall.