Fabio Jakobsen (Soudal Quick-Step) has won Tour de Hongrie's second stage in poor weather conditions.
Gloomy weather awaited the 131 cyclists in Zalaegerszeg - crosswind with the possibility of rain promised an exciting stage. The reigning Australian champion Luke Plapp (INEOS Grenadiers) suffered a concussion because of his fall on Wednesday, so he was unable to start today. Flanders - Baloise cyclist, Jenno Berckmoes sustained injuries in the same fall and although he started the stage, he gave up after only 11 kilometers. The greatest star of the race, the Columbian Egan Bernal escaped his fall with minor injuries thus he could participate in the second stage.
At the start ceremony László Vígh, parliament representative of Zala county; Ádám Szűcs, operations manager of the Budapest development center of Bosch, sponsor of the white jersey; Zoltán Balaicz, mayor of Zalaegerszeg and patron of the section; Stephen Roche, international ambassador of the competition; and chief organizer, Károly Eisenkrammer cut the start ribbon.
After the start there was a huge fight to get in the breakaway. The most active rider was Stocek (Slovakian, ATT Investments) in the red jersey, but he could not get into the succesful move. His teammate, Czech Daniel Turek was there, joined by Norbert Hrenkó from the Hungarian national team, the Romanian champion, Emil Dima (Sofer - Savini Due - OMZ) and the Italian Filippo Ridolfo (Team Novo Nordisk). Charles Planet (Team Novo Nordisk), who was also in the breakaway yesterday, and Kristóf Árvai from Epronex tried to jump up to the first four cyclists, but the peloton soon caught up with them.
After that, the stage was diverted to a calmer pace: the breakaway had an advantage of around 3-4 minutes. Ridolfo took the first intermediate sprint in Sümeg, Turek took the third category climb in Vígántpetend, thus protecting his team's mountain jersey. After his attack, Hrenkó was dropped from the breakaway, leaving three riders at the front of the race.
Arriving at the Balaton shore, the peloton started to increase the pace, so the advantage of the breakaway continued to decrease. Ridolfo won the second intermediate sprint of the day in Badacsony, and the third category climb in Lesencefalu too, but Stocek came in third, keeping the red jersey for himself for another day. Dima was dropped on the climb, the remaining two riders got caught with 10 kilometres to go. Two falls in the descent also upset the mood - former winner of the race, Damien Howson, also fell to the ground. The third intermediate sprint of the day was won by INEOS through Narváez, then the sprinter teams took the main role and the lead-up could begin. In a chaotic sprint, Team DSM dominated the leadout, then Caleb Ewan started his sprint - but he moved too early. The strongest was Fabio Jakobsen - he overtook Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious) and Vito Braet (Flanders - Baloise) at the finish line.
Jakobsen took the yellow jersey from his compatriot Dylan Groenewegen thanks to his better position in Stage 1. The green jersey was assigned to Phil Bauhaus, while Matus Stocek and Rózsa Balázs managed to keep the red and white jerseys, respectively.
When asked by M4 Sport TV channel, Jakobsen said: "It was a good sprint on the wet asphalt, though the previous few kilometers turned out to be hectic, everyone tried to get in the front. Although he lost his domestics, he was able to keep his calmness and started his final attack 300 meters before the finish line."
The competition continues on 12 May with the first mountain stage, from Kaposvár to Pécs.
44th Tour de Hongrie, Stage 2 (Zalaegerszeg - Keszthely, 175 km)
General Classification after Stage 2:
Leader of the Points Classification: Phil Bauhaus (German, Bahrain Victorious)
Winner of the Mountains Classification: Matus Stocek (Slovakian, ATT Investments)
The best Hungarian rider in General Classification: Balázs Rózsa (Hungarian, Epronex - Hungary Cycling Team)
Full result: HERE