UCI 2.2 category race Baltic Chain Tour continued with a second stage from Ülenurme to Valga. Rait Ärm from team Tartu 2024/BalticChainCycling.com won the stage in a thrilling sprint finish.
The stage had totally different scenario compared to yesterday’s stage what was won by Alo Jakin. After first intermediate sprint at Ülenurme (35 km) what was won by Latvian National Team rider Maris Bogdanovics, in front Gert Jõeäär and Alo Jakin, the peloton slowed down. Three riders got into the breakaway and they managed to raise the cap quickly into 7 minutes. Rider in the breakaway where Lithuanian National Team’s Justas Beniušis, Latvian National Team rider Pauls Rubenis and CK Torp team rider Kasper Steen Enstad from Norway.
After Otepää intermediate sprint two riders stayed in the breakaway – Latvian rider Rubenis chain broke. The peloton was closing on a breakaway and the lead was less than 3 minutes. In next intermediate sprint, the cap was less than a minute. All signs showed that we’ll have a sprint finish.
And so it was. On the streets of Valga team, Tartu 2024/BalticChainCycling.com riders managed best to stay together and helped their teammate Rait Ärm to victory. Ärm teammates also finished in TOP10 – Markus Pajur fourth, Antti-Jussi Juntunen seventh, and Artjom Mirozojev eighth. Massive teamwork! Next to Ärm other riders in TOP 3 were Darijus Džervus (Memel Cycling Team) and third Maris Bogdanovics. Finish time 3:59.23 – this makes race average speed 43,51 km/h.
General classification leader now is Gert Jõeäär who has 1 second lead in front Alo Jakin and 3 seconds in front Rait Ärm.
Still very open race.
Tomorrow’s third stage is 174km long and starts at Valga at 11 o’clock. The finish is also at Valga and the approximate finish time is around 15 o’clock. The racecourse is mostly in Latvia.