Brazilian breakaway master Nico Sessler made it into the breakaway today with four other riders and had a healthy margin of around 6 minutes over the peloton at its peak.
Nico battled for as many points as he could in the intermediate sprints and mountain sprints but there were faster riders up there with him on the day. The break was brought back after they were away for 180km.
Dylan Sunderland and Ukko Peltonen finished safely in the peloton as Conor Schunk lost a little time due to a rider letting a wheel go in the closing kilometre. Kiaan Watts also finished safely in the grupetto after he suffered from a puncture, ruling him out of contention for the sprint won by Filippo Fiorelli (Bardiani).
Sadly, we are a man light after today as Tom Benton crashed out on one of the descents midway through the stage. We all wish Tom well and hope for a speedy recovery.
Nico Sessler: “It was a fun day. Again, another day in the breakaway for the start of the Sibiu Tour. First proper stage over 200km, almost 180km in the breakaway… So I burned quite a few pizzas. All in all today was a sprint finish so not much to do on our side, unfortunately Kiaan, our sprinter, punctured and couldn’t make it to the lead group. Stage 2 tomorrow up to Balea Lac, proper climb, we shall see what cards we can play up there.”
Director Sportif, Florent Horeau: “A real day of bike racing! More than 200km, 3500m of climbing and a day with a lot of tension. The Brazilian ‘king of breakaway’ still has the opportunity to take the breakaway of the day.
“Unfortunately this day is sad for us because we lose Tom Benton who crashed at more than 80km/h. He is in the hospital tonight under medical supervision, I would like to thank the race organization for their help and kindness. I hope to find Tom as soon as possible on the bike.
“Tomorrow is the “Queen stage” and the legs will do the talking. We are going to race with the desire to do well and with nothing to lose! All in!”