Cycling: this year’s Tour de Hongrie starts from Szentgotthárd

Vágólapra másolva!
2023.03.01. 23:33
Event organizer Károly Esienkrammer (left) at the route presentation (Photo: Csaba Dömötör)
Although this time Kékestető is not on the route, there are still two tough mountain passes on May 12 and 13.

Two-time Hungarian champion Péter Kusztor, who held his daughter in his lap, introduced the trophy that will be given out to the winner of the Tour de Hongrie in the Budapest Music Center. Meanwhile, with the same dedication and attention, event organizer Károly Eisenkrammer has been developing, promoting, and placing the Hungarian circuit on a higher level among international cycling races. His work is so successful that even before the official route presentation it was already known that World Tour teams UAE Emirates and Soudal Quick-Step would be competing in the Pro Series event on May 10. Although two-time Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar and last year's world champion and Vuelta a España overall winner Remco Evenepoel will not be racing in Hungary, the starting list will still be impressive.

This time, the five-stage circuit, that includes Lake Balaton and a final stage in Budapest, will start from Szentgotthárd, the westernmost city of Hungary. The Grand Start of the 44th Tour de Hongrie will begin with cycling south-east to heart of the Őrség, then turning north at Zalalövő, bypassing Körmend before returning to Szentgotthárd. This 84-km-long circle will be completed twice. Then, the second day will the sprinters' day: starting from Zalaegerszeg, the 175-km-long route will end in Keszthely along the northern shore of Lake Balaton.

The third day of the race will be very important for the overall classification: the 180-kilometer stage between Kaposvár and Pécs has a 2511-meter ascent, and one of the two mountain passes is also on this day. The fourth stage the following day is an interesting one to note because the Attila Valter, who rides for Jumbo-Visma, was one Eisenkrammer's help in choosing the route for the penultimate day. The longest stage starts from Martonvásár heading north, while the killer stage will decide the overall classification at Dobogókő. The Hungarian tour will finish in the capital to honor Budapest's 150th anniversary – the riders will cycle around the heart of the city, including the Margaret and the Chain Bridge, ten times to cover 150 kilometers.

"It's not really the route, but the riders that make the races interesting and exciting. Of course, it's good to make changes every year and to be able to change the kilometer ratio of flat roads and steep slopes, but Hungary is flat, so this tour remains favorable for sprinters," – said Stephen Roche, ambassador of the 2023 Tour de Hongrie. The Irish cyclist has one of the best-ever performances in a single year: he won the Tour de France in 1987, then triumphed in the Giro d'Italia and became world champion.

"Special thanks to Budapest for allowing us make this route because two bridges will have to be closed for this period, and we get to see very important parts of the city for these few hours. The difficulty was that we couldn't set up the finish area on the circuit, so there is a little 'handle' for the pan, and the start and finish will be at the Műegyetem embankment," – said main organizer Károly Eisenkrammer about the final stage in Budapest.

The route for TdH2023
The route for TdH2023

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