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End of May in Estonia, at The Tour of Estonia and Estonian Tour de Volcano

Tour of Estonia took part at the end of the may, a two stage race was once categorized as a UCI 2.1 race, with the presence of two pro continental, eleven continental and three national teams. CKBB was represented by Viglasky, Palcak, Chalas, Vozar, Vanco and Frano.

 

First stage was 200 km long, super windy and very demanding, testing not only riders`fitness, but also technical skills of echelon riding. Up until the 140 km, Chalas, Viglasky, Frano, Palcak were in the first third of the peloton, Palcak even making a short lived break. Then the organizers surprised us with 3 unpaved sections, the longest of which, 7 km long, decided the stage.

“We hit the unpaved section at 50 km/h and the pace wouldn`t slow throughout the section. It was all dust and flying gravel, flat tyres everywhere. We were the only team to survive without a flat, the Vredestein tubulars proved themselves. But after the unpaved section, we rode straight into a strong crosswinds and the peloton begun to disintegrate. Even though me and Chalas made the firtst group, our lack of experience of echelon riding forced us to eventualy drop out of it.”


Chalas made a huge mistake, since as he got dropped, he wasn`t able to catch the next group. He ended up on his own for 30 km and was eventually swept up by the broom wagon.

Only three riders, Frano, Palcak, Viglasky, started the second, technical circuit race stage in Tartu. Unfortunatelly, Palcak and Frano got stuck behind a nasty crash in the opening laps and since the pace was hellish, they could stay in the bunch for just several laps. Viglasky rode amazingly, positioning himself at the front during the whole stage. In the end, the pace was too high for him, but he did a great job nevertheless.

“Racing at the 2.1 stage race proved to be a priceless experience once again. We did a lot of mistakes caused by our inexperience. Unpaved sections or long windy straights are a novelty for us, we seldom race in this kind of terrain. Despite that, I`m content with Chalas` first start, it`s a pity he did such a mistake, since up until then he was doing great. Ivan Viglasky showed a huge improvement. On the other hand, the U23 riders disappointed”said Frano.


On Sunday, all the teams started at the Estonia`s greatest Gran fondo, Tartu-Rattaralli. We were curious about the race, since we organize asimilar event, Tour de Volcano, in July. What we saw was overwhelming.

Estonians are a sporty nation. Despite the national population of only 1.3 mil, 2000 competitors started the 145 km race and another 2000 the shorter, 63 km race. The first row was reserved for the best local amateurs and the former Estonian cycling stars, Kirsipuu, Putsep an all the procontinental and continental riders from Tour of Estonia. Rest of the field started from behind. There was a fierce fight after the race. I can honestly say that the first hour  of the race was faster than at the Tour of Estonia, the average speed was blistering 46 km/h. We were surprised that all, even the amateur riders had very solid technical skills when it came to echelon riding, After the crash at km 40 of the race, the 80 man group formedup front, where the tough racing for the victory begun. There were attacks going right left and center. Frano, Vanco and Palcak all tried their luck in a break. Eventually, Voyar, Viglasky, Vanco and Chalas fell out of the front group, Palcak finished in the group, placing 28th. BDC/Kolls ride Kulyk won ahead of Stash from RusVelo, with five Estonian riders making top ten.

Frano and Viglasky waited for Livia hanesova, who also lined up for the race and was fighting for the podium spot among 83 female contenders. With the help of teammates, she worked her way up to second group, containing two of her competitors in the fight for silver. In the end, she didn`t succeed in a sprint finish and ended up 4th. The winner, Lisa Ehrberg, finished 81st overall.

“Tartu Rattaralli was a really shocking experience. Despite the starting fee of 50/70 euro, containing basic services such as post race meal and timing, there were 4000 people at the start of the race, mostly locals. They didn`t mind competing against professional riders, they felt honoured with the opportunity to compete with the best. Also the fitness level of the amateurs was surprisingly high, they are great rolleurs, with great bike handling skills. The organizers also put an unpaved section of the road into the race course and most of the amateurs had no troubles riding on it. The same company organizes sporting events all year round, for example XC ski races, roller skate races, runs etc. and these events are always crowded, which is a proof that the Estonians are true sport fanatics.” said Frano post race.


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