While Israel – Premier Tech’s sprint train is chasing stage wins in the Giro d’Italia, the team will simultaneously compete in the Tour de Hongrie. Patrick Bevin and Itamar Einhorn are, among others, IPT’s two main men to watch.
The team has a long and successful history in the Tour de Hongrie. A sum up:
– In 2016, Mihkel Raim won the GC and a stage in the Tour de Hongrie, in his first year with ‘Cycling Academy’;
– In 2019, the team won the Tour again, with Krists Neilands, who also won two stages;
– In 2020, Matteo Badilatti finished fourth in the GC;
– Last year, Ben Hermans managed to finish second in the queen stage and the GC.
This year, Krists Neilands will return to Hungary, and that is good news for team leader Patrick Bevin who said he ‘learned’ from Neilands about the five-day stage race.
Their conversation was particularly about the final climb in the queen stage, stage 5. “I realized it is a much harder climb”, Bevin says. “The last 3,5 kilometers are over 8%. It is a very steep run to the finish line.”
A summary: The climb to Spil Milli Park in Turkey was 10 kilometers in length, with an average gradient of 7.7%. Bevin finished second on that climb. The one in Hungary will be 12 kilometers in length with an average gradient of 5.9%, with – like Bevin said – the last 3.6 kilometers at 8.0%.
The Kiwi, who also won a stage in the Tour de Romandie, will be hoping for victories in the three consecutive stage races he competed in.
Also looking for a stage win is Itamar Einhorn. The Israeli sprinter sees many opportunities for bunch kicks in Hungary.
“I think three, maybe four, stages can end in a mass sprint,” he says. “That is exciting. I am looking forward to sprinting again, especially after having won a race in Poland with the Israeli national team.”
Einhorn can rely on the support of strong riders like Tom van Asbroeck and Guy Sagiv. Both of them will return to racing after having recovered from their injuries. Also, Carl Fredrik Hagen will line up for the Israeli team.