Tour de Hongrie: Małecki moves up in GC after 3rd place on the toughest stage

We all know that Kamil Małecki can sprint, but he proved on stage 4, the hardest of this year’s Tour de Hongrie, that he can climb as well. He finished in 3rd place and moved up to 4th overall.

Info: August 18th, stage 4, Karcag – Miskolc, 182km

Course: flat with cat. 1 climb with 30km to go

5-man breakaway that emerged in the front was not given too much space, as their maximum recorded advantage was at 2:30. Peloton, with all CCC Sprandi Polkowice riders, began closing in on the escapees early and with 41km remaining it was all back together.

“Riders in orange” put the hummer down on cat. 1 climb to Bükkszentkereszten breaking the main field in pieces. Mateusz Taciak did a lot of damage early in the ascent, reducing the pack to just 20 riders. Near the summit the action heated up even more and after few attacks it was down to just 7 guys. Kamil Małecki and Leszek Pluciński, who both were placed in the top 10 overall, were up there, while the yellow jersey, Manuel Belletti was in trouble, as he slightly fell behind.

The final 30km of racing was cat-and-mouse game between Małecki’s and Pluciński’s group and the yellow jersey group. Only 20-30 seconds separated them in the downhill and eventually the chasers managed to bridge the gap with just 4km to go. Immediately Adrian Kurek, who was quietly sitting in Belletti group, powered through with an attack, but he got caught.

Nikodemus Holler launched his early sprint perfectly, as he took off inside the final kilometer. He held on to win the stage, ahead of Belletti and Małecki. Thanks to his gutsy and strong performance, the 22-year old moved up to 4th overall with reasonable chances of climbing onto the GC podium.

The finale was very hard, but I had good legs and I wanted to fight for GC. We were all pulling very hard and we gave our all, but we got caught close to the finish – Kamil Małecki said. – I’m little bit surprise that I was climbing so well today, although I did some training in the mountains lately and I improved that skill during my time there. It’s a pity I couldn’t take the victory , but I put in a lot of effort so our group could hold on and because of that I was lacking some power in the end. My teammates did a great job and I wanted to win also for them. 

Patry Stosz retained his KOM jersey, so the final stage, which will decide everything, will be very exciting for the riders and CCC Sprandi Polkowice fans.