It’s a day Riley Pickrell will never forget: the Canadian rider claimed his first professional victory on Sunday, winning stage 2a of the Sibiu Tour in dominant fashion.

Pickrell’s first win – and IPT’s 20th of the 2024 season to date – came following a dramatic end to the stage, as a four-rider breakaway group was only caught with 500 meters remaining.

From there, the 22-year-old showed his class, making light of a technical, uphill, and cobbled approach to the finish line. He comfortably beat former IPT rider Giacomo Nizzolo (Q36) and Roger Kluge (RNO) in a one-sided sprint.

Kiwi rider George Bennett had a trouble-free day in the peloton and remains third overall going into Sunday evening’s 3.3-kilometer individual time trial.

“I’m super happy with the win, of course,” says Pickrell. “The boys really rallied around me, and even though we have a climbing-focused squad here, they really pulled through, pacing hard on the final climb and keeping me in position in the run in.

“I had to launch my sprint early but with the uphill and cobbles I was confident to ride on my fitness.

“It’s a really important win for me – not only is it my first pro win, my grandfather passed away earlier this year, and his funeral took place just last week. I really want to dedicate this win to him.”

Photos: Focus Photos Agency