The Italian sprinter showed no signs of slowing down as he powered towards the line in Nyíregyháza, taking the day’s honors ahead of Kaden Groves (Mitchelton – SCOTT) and Erlend Blikra (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team).
CCC Team remained calm and in control for most of the 181.8-kilometer stage, keeping an eye on proceedings from the front of the peloton as an early five-rider breakaway opened up a six-minute advantage in the first hour of racing.
With the stage almost completely flat and another bunch sprint looming on the horizon, the escapees were allowed to hold onto a solid advantage until inside 50 kilometers to go when, with the gap still sitting at more than four minutes, the pace began to pick up behind them.
CCC Team made its intentions clear when it sent all of the team’s riders up to the front of the peloton and eventually, with the final rider swept up at the six-kilometer to go mark, the stage was set for another fast and furious run into the finish.
Kamil Gradek and Łukasz Wiśniowski provided Mareczko with another perfect lead-out under the flamme rouge and onto the home straight before, similarly to yesterday, the Italian rider launched his sprint from the fifth position in the bunch and showed he was once again the fastest in the field.
The Winner’s Interview with Jakub Mareczko
Congratulations, Jakub. Talk us through today’s victory?
“We had the same plan as yesterday for the finale of today’s stage and it worked perfectly again. Kamil and Łukasz were the last guys with me before the sprint and they were great. The whole team has been unbelievable here and they worked all day for me and helped to bring the breakaway back at the right moment, which actually wasn’t as easy to do as it might have looked. I want to say a big thank you again to everyone here.”
After yesterday’s win, were you feeling any pressure to repeat that success today?
“I was really happy to finally get the win I had been looking for yesterday and I think it actually took away a lot of the pressure I have been putting on myself. This morning, I knew I was in good shape and I knew I had the legs to take the win again so I feel really happy to have done that and finished off all the hard work of the guys again.”
There is one more sprint stage to come tomorrow. How are you feeling ahead of that?
“I am definitely motivated and will try to go for the win again before we head onto the climbs and the real race for the General Classification can begin on stage five. As I said, I think the form is there to win again but we will start to think about that more tomorrow morning.”
Tour De Hongrie
Stage 3: Karcag > Nyíregyháza (181.8km)
Top 3: 1. Jakub Mareczko (CCC Team) 2. Kaden Groves (Mitchelton – SCOTT) 3. Erlend Blikra (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team)
CCC Team Top 3: 1. Jakub Mareczko 34. Attila Valter 85. Kamil Gradek