Tour de Hongrie – 4th stage: American victory on the king stage

American victory on the Tour de Hongrie king stage: Chris Butler was the fastest to reach the highest point of Hungary. His teammate, the Estonian champion Mihkel Raim also performed well, finishing fourth and retaining the first place in the overall standings. The International Cycling Union’s (UCI) 2.2 category Europe Tour international road race has 95 riders covering 740 kilometers in six days up to the finish in Budapest on 3 July.

Krisztián Lovassy – who held high hopes of winning the Hungarian tour - wanted a major role for himself during this stage as well, so he showed himself repeatedly in the breakaways after the start in Karcag, and was part of the main escaping group of the day: together with the German Hellmann and the Czech Lant they were able to break away from the peloton after about an hour's ride. The poursuivants have acknowledged the attempt and let the trio go, which reached a nearly three-minute lead. However, Krisztián Lovassy reached the bottom of Kékes mountain alone, he was able to leave the others behind on the longer or shorter climbs.


Krisztián Lovassy won two mountain sprints on the way, but he was caught by the bunch in the first-third of the Kékes climb. The fight for the stage victory started and the first one to switch to higher speed was the Italian Spreafico, but two kilometers before the finish the American Chris Butler also changed rhythm, and finally won the king etape by a wide margin, wih a half-minute advantage. His victory was valuable for him triple times, firstly for the stage victory, secondly for earning so many points in the mountain top finish on Kékes that he took over the king of the mountain jersey, and thirdly for his club-mate, the Estonian Raim also arrived among the first ones and kept the yellow jersey.

"I'm very happy for my victory. I set myself a goal at the beginning of the season that I am going to have at least one international success in any event that is a categorized tournament – said the stage winner Chris Butler. - The result of the first stage has already decided the overall standings, so my big chance remained for the today’s mountain finish. The team worked very well for me, after the three-man escaped, they protected me, and we waited for the slope where I started. I really wanted this success, so I gave it all even in the steepest part of the mountain as well."


"I finished on the fourth place, I felt myself in good shape, and of course, the yellow jersey gave me an enormous extra power – said Mihkel Raim. - Anything can happen in cycling sport, so I do not want to celebrate the overall victory too early. We checked the weather forecast which predicts stormy winds, and although tomorrow is a relatively short stage ahead of us, the victory will be secured when I am standing on the podium in Budapest."

Among the Hungarians the young rider of Super Beton, Viktor Filutás, finished in 18th place on Kékes and now he the best Hungarian rider in the overall standings, in the 20th place.

"It is an incredibly good feeling that I finished the Kékes summit as the first Hungarian - said Viktor Filutás. - I came here to get the title of the best U23 Hungarian rider, and I'm glad that now I took this place. Of course, I still have to keep this place on Sunday. For now, I cannot believe that I am the best ranked Hungarian rider. I thank the team for their help, today we worked a lot for each other!"


"I tried to do my best, but unfortunately only three of us escaped and the others were left behind relatively quickly, so very soon I was alone - said Krisztián Lovassy after the finish. - I'm a little disappointed. In the recent days I tried to do everything in order to be in a successful breakaway but I could not. Our chances for the overall victory were decided on the first stage. We'll see what I will be able to achieve during the last stage."

The last etape will take place on Sunday, the bunch of the Tour de Hongrie will cover the 99-kilometer stretch between Gyöngyös and Budapest. The peloton will ride 3 rounds on Fő Street, Ponty Street, Hunyadi Street, the Tunnel, Attila Road, and Chain Bridge Street. The route promises a spectacular fight.


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