Petros Gkotsis - International Tour of Rhodes

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Images: ©Petros Gkotsis /  Words by Neofytos Sakellaridis-Mangouras

Nearly two decades after a certain Fabian Cancellara took the GC of this early spring tour, the International Tour of Rhodes was revived this year in the form of a UCI 1.2 one day race, and a 2.2 ranked stage race.

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The one-day race would be a fitting route; a circumnavigation of the island, 191 km in total. Although it was not devoid of attacks the race culminated in a final group sprint.

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The sprint was a quite an eventful one: not only was there a hair-raising crash with heavy injuries but also a prematurely hand-raising runner-up. CCC Sprandi Polkowice's Alan Banaszek showed the power of a single pedal stroke winning for a mere 2 millimeters in a photo finish over Ahmet Örken of Torku Şekerspor.

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As the one-day race came to an end, so did the normally pleasant Rhodes weather. The Tour that followed was a test of strength, stamina, and willpower as the biblical downpours made it more epic than the Colossus himself.

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This abnormal weather lent itself to a splintering of the bunch and, ultimately, a solo baroudeur stamping authority on the Tour from the very first stage. Roth Akros' Colin-Chris Stüssi took a famous victory and the jersey - which he would never relinquish, taking the GC victory as well.

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The motif of medium group sprints was found in the remaining two stages with Leopard Pro Cycling's Szymon Rekita taking stage 2 and the lion-maned Danish Champion, Alexander Kamp, taking out stage 3 for Bjarne Riis's Veloconcept team.

All in all the top 3 of the GC read:

  1. Colin-Chris Stüssi ROTH - AKROS 
  2. Asmund-Romstad Lovik ΤΕΑΜ 1
  3. Cyrille Thierry SWISS NATIONAL TEAM
For a full gallery of Petros's pictures, click the image below.   


Conquista issue 14 - available now
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