Pozdnyakov wins the mountain time trial at the Sibiu Tour

Kirill Pozdnyakov (Synergy Baku Cycling Project) won the first ever mountain time trial of the Sibiu Cycling Tour. The Russian had spent time at altitude on the island of Tenerife before the start of the race and took the win in the 6.8 km individual effort on the Transfăgărășan Road. He won the stage from Bâlea Cascadă to the finish at the glacial lake Bâlea Lac on 2040 m above sea level with a time of 16:20 ahead of Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec teammates Alessio Taliani and Romanian Serghei Țvetcov. Race leader Nikolay Mihaylov (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) finished fifth and defended his lead in the general classification.

Previously the climb to Bâlea Lac was part of a normal road stage, this year marked the first time it was used in a time trial. The race was held on the last 6.8 km of the climb, with an average gradient of 6.18% on very open terrain above the tree line. Jonas Vingegaard (ColoQuick CULT) set an early benchmark and was leading the race with a time of exactly 17 minutes after the first 50 riders had finished and a half an hour interruption gave those who had started early the chance to go back to their team buses at the start. When the group of race favourites started at 14:00, it didn’t take long for them to challenge Vingegaard’s time, with fifth starter Egan Bernal coming only nine seconds short of the Dane’s time and former Giro d’Italia overall contender Franco Pellizotti finally beating the coloQuick-CULT rider by seven seconds only moments later.

The 2012 Italian champion could barely catch his breath though before Kirill Pozdnyakov of Synergy Baku Cycling Project finished his effort in 16:21 minutes, beating Pellizotti by over half a minute – a time that should stand until the very end. Last year’s Bâlea Lac stage winner Alessio Taliani came closest to challenging the Russian, finishing six seconds behind, while his Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec teammate Serghei Țvetcov replicated his 2015 result by coming third. Last year’s overall winner Mauro Finetto (Unieuro Wilier) finished fourth.

Overall leader Nikolay Mihaylov (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) was the last to roll of the start ramp for his 6.8 km effort and the Bulgarian surprise winner from yesterday’s stage to Păltiniș finished in a very respectable fifth place, increasing the gap on Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec rider Francesco Gavazzi in second place to over 4½ minutes. Alex Turrin (Unieuro Wilier) is now third in the general classification, while Daniel Turek (Cycling Academy Team) defended his green jersey for the lead in the mountain classification. Serghei Țvetcov (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) is still the best placed Romanian in the race, Daniel Crista (Tuşnad Cycling Team) keeps blue for the first placed rider in the intermediate sprint competition and Marco Tecchio (Unieuro Wilier) is the best U23 rider born in or after 1994.

“It was great to win today! A special win on a special mountain,” Pozdnyakov said after the stage. “We missed the break yesterday, so today was my chance to show that I can beat the best in the mountains. I dedicate this win to the people who support us and make it possible for us to race.”

Sibiu Tour 2016 – stage 3 results (Balea Lac ITT):

1 Kirill Pozdnyakov (Synergy Baku)


2 Alessio Taliani (Androni – Sidermec)


3 Serghei Tvetcov (Androni – Sidermec)


4 Mauro Finetto (Unieuro Wilier)


5 Nikolay Mihaylov (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)


6 Branislau Samoilau (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)


7 Franco Pellizotti (Androni – Sidermec)


8 Davide Rebellin (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)


9 Jonas Vingegaard (ColoQuick CULT)


10 Egan Bernal (Androni – Sidermec)



General classification after stage 3:

1 Nikolay Mihaylov (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)


2 Francesco Gavazzi (Androni – Sidermec)


3 Alex Turrin (Unieuro Wilier)


4 Derk Abel Beckeringh (Parkhotel Valkenburg)


5 Daniel Turek (Cycling Academy)


6 Thijs Van Beusichem (Parkhotel Valkenburg)


7 Richard Handley (ONE)


8 Giacomo Berlato (Nippo-Vini Fantini)


9 Luis Lemus (Cycling Academy)


10 Nicola Genovese (d’Amico – Bottecchia)