In a nail-biting finish, Antonio Tiberi secured the first professional win of his career on the fifth and final stage of the Tour de Hongrie.
With a right-hand corner just meters before the finish, there was a nervous wait to see who would emerge victorious at the top of the Kékestető.
It wasn’t a surprise that the 12.1-kilometer long climb, which is described as the hardest in Hungary, played host to a thrilling finale. The peloton was taking no risks and held the day’s breakaway on a tight leash in anticipation of what was to come.
The final three kilometers of the Kékestető had a gradient of eight percent and Antonio, who admitted that he wasn’t feeling totally himself at the start of the stage, still had the faith of his teammates and was brought up to the front of the peloton with precision.
Eddie Dunbar (INEOS Grenadiers) attacked off the front of a select group of climbers and GC contenders with around two kilometers to go and, despite being further back that he might have wanted, Antonio reacted quickly to try and chase him down.
But the question on everyone lips was, would there be enough road left to make the catch?
Spoiler: there was!
As the duo came into view, it became clear that Antonio had timed his effort to perfection, accelerating around Dunbar with just meters to go before punching the air with pure delight.
Antonio’s victory comes 12 months after he finished third on the very same climb. They say practice definitely makes perfect and that’s how we would described today’s race.
Now hear from the man himself…
“I am very, very happy with this pro win. I lost a lot of time in the second stage, it was very windy, and for the GC I am sad for this, but very happy for the win.”
“All day I didn’t feel so good. I started well, but after one hour I started to feel not good, and I stayed in the peloton all day with the guys. In the start of the climb, I was quite behind and didn’t feel good, but after I started to move up with the guys, and when Dunbar attacked, I was still behind, but also tried to move up and started passing guys and then caught him I think in the last 50 meters.”
“I did this climb last year and finished 3rd, so I knew that in the last 1.5kms is the most important point, and this is where Dunbar attacked, and I also attacked here more or less.”