Davide Rebellin took third place on the first climbing stage at Sibiu Cycling Tour. He arrived to the mountain-top finish in the 7-man group, with the race favorites.
It was a lively start of the stage. CCC Sprandi Polkowice riders were among those, who made an attempt to get in the break. Adrian Kurek was one of the runners who tried to pull away early on and he even got bonus points at intermediate sprint. Eventually it was Marek Rutkiewicz and Josef Cerny who made the escape though.
They were a part of a large, around 20-man group, which later shrank to eight. Climb to Jina, 90 kilometers into the stage, made a big selection in the front, but both Rutkiewicz and Cerny managed to stay with the strongest.
The maximum recorded gap was 3:30, but with 54 kilometers left, it dropped to one minute. This is when Josef Cerny accelerated. He wanted to break clear but his fellow escapees neutralized his attack. After that move, young Czech lost contact with the 6-man group, which picked up the pace. With 30 kilometers to go the gap increased to 2 minutes, but at the bottom of the final climb it decreased back to 50-60 seconds.
At the beginning of the ascent, Marek Rutkiewicz got dropped and came back to the bunch. A moment later, the rest of the escapees were reeled in, by a group with race favorites, which included around 20 riders. Among them there were Davide Rebellin and Nikolay Mihaylov. On the slopes of Palitinis there were no attacks, but steep last 2-kilometers broke the group apart. 7 cyclists reached the line together, with the same time, and Mauro Finetto (Southeast) was the fastest. His teammate Simone Ponzi was 2nd and Rebellin finished third. Mihaylov was 13th, 23 seconds back.
It was a very hard stage. We had two representatives in the break, but there were also few other very strong riders, who were a threat for our team. That’s why Rutkiewicz and Cerny didn’t set high pace in the escape and our team decided to chase the leaders. On the final climb, Nikolay Mihaylov pushed the pace and thinned the peloton. Only 15 riders left. My teammates did a great job today and thanks to them I was able to finish on the podium – Davide Rebellin said.
Finetto is the new GC leader and Rebellin sits in third, 12 seconds behind.