Giro: The Cavendish stop, and plaque inaugurated in Zámoly
On Saturday afternoon, the Cavendish stop and plaque were handed over in Zámoly, Fejér County, commemorating the event of May 6 when Mark Cavendish, one of the biggest sprinters in the 105th Giro d`Italia, stopped to change his bike at the village's first bus stop from Székesfehérvár.
|The top of the stop|
If there is a Hungarian village that could benefit from the Giro d'Italia starting in Hungary, it is undoubtedly Zámoly in Fejér County, through which the first stage of the Italian cycling tour passed. The story is already well known: one of the many memorable scenes of the Hungarian stage of the Giro was when, after about 90 kilometers of the opening stage between Budapest and Visegrád, Mark Cavendish had to change his bike at one of the bus stops. Following a funny suggestion by commentators Gergő Bodnár and András Lantos on Eurosport that was broadcasting the competition, the municipality of Zámoly, located about 13.5 km from Székesfehérvár, decided why it could not capture the historical moments for posterity as well.
„We watched the stage events at the beer tent set up at the local sports ground with both children and adults of the village, so the members of the council were there as well. When I saw Cavendish stop, I immediately remembered that he paused at the bus stop of the three that we did not decorate. Then when we heard Mr. Bodnár and Mr. Lantos talking about the need to make a plaque for this event, we knew immediately that we would do it” – the mayor of Zámoly, Mihály Sallai, told Nemzeti Sport how in less than a week what started as a simple joke became a reality
However, let's not get ahead of ourselves too fast: how do the members of a municipal council get on the sports field in the early afternoon of a weekday? The people of Zámoly were already preparing for the event on May 6 on the sports field with great events such as sports competitions, arts and crafts for schoolchildren – who, by the way, spelled the name of the village with 115 bikes on the outskirts of the village, which was also included in the live broadcast. The organization was partly born of necessity because the very busy main road no. 8123, which runs through Zámoly, was closed for four hours due to the Giro, so it was difficult for the inhabitants of the village to get to school, the post office, and the doctor. So, this is how, among other things, a significant percentage of the municipal council got to the sports field on the sunny Friday afternoon in the small community of Fejér County.
So, the local council, at the moment of the funny suggestion, already knew that it would make the plaque and the stop. On Monday, the inscription was already made for the bus waiting area, the plaque with the Hungarian and English text on it arrived on Thursday and was handed over on Saturday next to the Cavendish stop.
|The Plaque – CLICK TO ENLARGE|
With their action, the people of Zámoly were also included in the international cycling press, and they also gave way to the inauguration ceremony accordingly. Shortly after 2 pm, there were cyclists, predominantly from Zámoly, but also from Székesfehérvár and even Szentendre, who did a short, few-kilometer-long round in the village by bicycle starting from the mayor's office. The police led up for the occasion, and the bike procession was behind the mayor's car, on which the plaque was on decorated with a pink ribbon. The cyclists arrived at the Cavendish stop, which, by the way, still officially bears the name 1 Kossuth Street on the bus schedule, but as mayor Sallai revealed, the bus waiting area is considered a municipal area, so it could be named.
„As far as I know, the law states that it is not possible in Hungary to name a street or a public place after a living person living. I have to admit, I don't know if it's possible to name a bus stop, but we didn't go into details... because the bus stop itself consists of the bus stop sign and the bus bay, so the building of the waiting area is municipal property. The stop will continue to bear its official name, but it was here that Mark Cavendish stopped, meaning this is a Cavendish stop. The bus stop sign remains in place, but this beautifully decorated sign is also placed next to it. In addition, some popular navigation applications also include it, so cycling pilgrims will also stop here” – mayor Sallai explained the legal background behind the story.
At the end of the cycling parade, the head of the village fixed the sign commemorating Mark Cavendish's stop in its designated place, and it turned out that the story is hardly over yet. After all, the British cyclist himself has not yet reacted to the afterlife of his unexpected bike change in a small village in Fejér County. Of course, this is understandable, since Cavendish, 36, is currently competing in the Italian tour – he is third in the sprinters' points classification – but on the other hand, the Giro will have a break on Monday, and if not on the holidays, sooner or later he will surely be informed of what happened in Zámoly, and perhaps his reaction will not be missed either.
|At the ceremony, Mihály Sallai said that he met with Máriusz Révész, the government commissioner responsible for the development and promotion of cycling and active recreation in Hungary, this week, and asked him if a bicycle path could be made on Route 8123 in the near future. The answer was not positive in the first round, but it might be later.|
„The Hungarian government will spend about 150 billion forints on the construction of bicycle paths in the coming times, but a significant part of this would be used on the Budapest-Balaton line, so Zámoly would be left out. However, we now have a Cavendish stop, in addition to which we will also establish a cycling rest area this year, and we hope that this will help the decision-makers to support a bike path to this area” – said Sallai at the end of the event.
|The busstop itself|
Translated by Vanda Orosz