Sibiu Tour: Delle Stelle 5th in the mass sprint

Christian Delle Stelle finished 5th on Stage 1 of Sibiu Cycling Tour. It ended with a bunch sprint, which was won by Oscar Gatto.

On the second day of racing, a 224-kilometer distance, with 7,5-kilometer long ascent to Poiana Sibiului (5% avg, 11% max) was on the menu. The top of the climb was located 45 kilometers from the finish.

In the very beginning, a three man group broke clear, with Jonas Leefmann (Bike Aid), Robert Kessler (LKT Team Brandenburg) and Gediminias Kaupas (Team Differdange – Losch). Their advantage quickly increased to 9 minutes, then it dropped to one minute and later it picked up again, to around 4 minutes.

Eventually the escapees were brought back in at the bottom of the hardest climb of the day. Nobody took advantage of the slopes and made a significant move, but the pace was strong enough to split the bunch in two pieces. Christian Delle Stelle lost contact with the first group, but thanks to Josef Cerny’s and Piotr Brożyna’s help he fought his way back to the peloton.

The first group consisted of 55 riders, and it included the majority of CCC Sprandi Polkowice cyclists. They set up an “orange train” in the last 10 kilometers trying to position the team’s sprinter, Delle Stelle. The Italian kicked off the sprint from a good position, but it was Oscar Gatto who took the win. He bested Filippo Fortina (GM Cycling Team) and Eduard Grosu (Nippo – Vini Fantini). Delle Stelle claimed 5th place, which is a very good results, considering long break from racing.

Grosu took over the leader jersey. In GC he is ahead of prologue winner, Rafael Andriato and Maros Kovac. Davide Rebellin is the highest ranked “rider in orange” and before first typical mountain stage, sits 11th overall, 12 seconds back.