Petros Gkotsis - Greek National Championships 2016

Photography by Petros Gkotsis
Text by Neofytos Sakellaridis-Mangouras
The last weekends of June across Europe's cycling havens mean one thing: It's national jersey time. One of the greatest honours in cycling is to wear such a special jersey for a year. This is no different in Greece, where the men and women of the domestic peloton amassed at the southern Laconian proving ground of Skala.
Amidst the immense heat and unexpected rain, the Olympic-bound perennial Ioannis Tamouridis (Synergy Baku) dominated, winning both the RR and the TT, for the fifth and ninth time respectively. In both he was closely followed by last year's champion Polychronis Tzortzakis (CC Villeneuve Saint Germain), the two riders representing a class above the rest.
On the womens side, Eleni Tsavari showed that experience trumps youth while triumphing in the TT, whereas her younger counterpart Vavara Fasoi soloed to an emphatic victory in the RR.
In all, the condition of the weather and the roads gave for a difficult and trying championship with no real room for respite. Most left unhappy due to the conditions, regardless of their personal outcomes. That leaves a year to lick wounds and return stronger to get another chance at that jersey.
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