Baltic Chain Tour continued on Saturday with a 220 kilometer stage from Tartu to Tallinn. After an evenful and windy day with several showers the victory was decided in a mass sprint by the Pirita velodrome in Tallinn. The Norwegian Herman Dahl from Team Sparebanken Sør was first to the finish line before Darijus Džervus of the Lithuanian National team.
– I got a perfect lead out from my team mates for the sprint. There were three guys helping me there, and we were the best team, Dahl says.
His team was active during the early part of the race, when they tried to break the peloton in a section of crosswind after around 25 kilometers. There was a small break away group that emerged with a group of 24 riders, but after 12 kilometers the bunch was back together.
– It was a long day. We tried to speed up in the crosswind, but it didn’t last long enough to work. At the end part of the race my team and the Israel Cycling Academy were taking action, when Rietumu Banka – Riga with the yellow jersey wasn’t riding in a sensible way. After placig second twice we now earned this victory.
After the break away mentioned by Dahl was caught, Hiski Kanerva from the Finnish National team attacked before the first intermediate sprint at 46 kilometers. He was followed by seven riders, who increased their lead steadily.
By the 87 km mark the group was down to four riders, but they were able to grow their lead to well over seven minutes. Together Kanerva, Itamar Einhorn of Israel Cycling Academy and the Latvian National team riders Klavs Rubenis and Sergis Kaspars were able to hold the peloton behind them up untill there was only ten kilometers of the race left.
Before today’s stage Dahl was third in the overall classification, eight seconds behind the leading couple Maris Bogdanovics and Benjamin Perry. With bonus seconds from today Dahl took the yellow jersey by two seconds. He also received the jersey of the most competitive rider, while Andris Vosekalns from Rietumu Banka – Riga holds the most active riders jersey and Silver Mäoma of the Estonian national team still leads the yound rider competition.
Baltic Chain Tour ends tomorrow in Finland with final stage covering the route from Helsinki to Porvoo and back.