It was practically envelopable that after Attila Valter was able to wear the pink jersey last year, the sport became more and more popular in Hungary as well.
“The race surpassed even our most beautiful dreams, at least a quarter of a million people encouraged the field along the race routes, there was a sensational mood everywhere. The atmosphere exceeded all the expectations of the Italian organizers, one of the teams stated that they did not really understand why the Great Start should be brought to Hungary, but they were quite amazed at the endless love and enthusiasm they experienced here. This competition has certainly raised the esteem of our country in the world. Success is common, and behind this competition, a real national coalition has finally emerged. I would like to thank everyone: the organizers, the local governments of Budapest and the countryside, the police, Magyar Közút Nonprofit Zrt., Our volunteers, the fans and the public, ”he said. Marius Révész, Government Commissioner for Active Hungary.
The three Hungarian cyclists, Valter, Erik Fetter and Barnabás Peák, did not win the praise of the fans, and this was constantly voiced on their community pages.
The Hungarian of the Groupama-FDJ told the Index before the Giro that he wanted to enjoy the Hungarian stages, to get as many memories as possible, and then to come to Italy, where he could benefit from several stages.
I travel to Italy with great feelings, it was amazing. I feel like the fight for me will start in Sicily because it was really a three day celebration for me and that feeling culminated in me today. I always watch and concentrate on the bike, I think this is the hardest sport in the world, but also the best, and we showed it here in Hungary today, and really, I really enjoyed racing here today, it was amazing
He said in response to a question from our paper Valter already in Balatonfüred, after the third stage.
By the way, the bikers who won the three Hungarian stages were completely up to the mood here, and almost all of the riders emphasized how good it was to race in front of an audience again after two years.
Saturday’s press conference in the pink leotard Mathieu van der Poel he said he could barely hear anything on his earphones, the Hungarians were so loud. Simon Yatesthe winner of the time trial mentioned an excellent atmosphere, adding: he did not know that cycling is so and so popular in Hungary.
Van der Poel posted in his last post in the Strava app: Hungary, you were wonderful!
Sunday in Balatonfüred Mark Cavendish also praised the Hungarian atmosphere.
“Honestly, these three days were amazing. The fans are phenomenal, people love cycling here, they also love Giro and the Big Start. It was amazing that we were greeted, it was a privilege to be here, and it was icing on the cake that I managed to win a section, ”British legend told our paper.
He highlighted the Hungarian fans and the sensational atmosphere Mauro Vegni, also the director of the Giro d’Italia: “I would like to thank Hungary, the government, the public, the fans and, of course, the local organizing committee of the Big Start. The last three days have been a real success, and the competition would not have received a warmer reception. With this Great Start, the Hungarians proved to the world that they have a place in the international cycling community. Thank you to Hungary! ”
It is also worth noting that during the three days it was not possible to meet a foreign fan who bought a fan product marked with the name of Attila Valter. This is also a good proof that Hungarian cycling has really been put on the international map.
After Monday’s holiday, the Giro will continue on Tuesday, with a 172-kilometer-long mountain section waiting for the riders, with the finish line at Mount Etna.
And the Tour de Hongrie kicks off on Wednesday, with 11 World Teams interested in the field, with lots and lots of big names coming in. Without wishing to be exhaustive, five-time Vuelta stage winner Fabio Jakobsen, four-time Tour de France stage winner Dylan Groenewegen and nine-time Grand Tour stage winner Elia Viviani, but also 2020 Giro d’Italia winner British Tao Geoghean Hart.
So the show continues!
(Cover image: Péter Papajcsik / Index)