Eddie Dunbar wins Tour de Hongrie for second professional win

Corkman attacked with two kilometres remaining in final stage to seal victory

Seven weeks after taking the first professional win of his career, Eddie Dunbar clocked up his second in winning the Tour de Hongrie in Hungary on Sunday. The Corkman attacked with two kilometres remaining of the final stage, immediately gapping the other riders in the front group on the climb of Gyongyos-Kekesteto, and opening up a solid lead.

Dunbar looked set for the stage win but the Italian rider Antonio Tiberi (Trek-Segafredo) went in pursuit and was able to inch his way back up to the Irishman. He made the junction with approximately 25 metres remaining and swept past for the win, with Dunbar netting second.

Tiberi had however lost over 12 minutes on stage two, leaving Dunbar the clear winner overall. That gave him the more important victory of the day.

Still, Dunbar had wanted to take both the general classification and the stage win.


“I am happy to win GC, but I really wanted to win the stage today,” he said after the summit finish. “It was just 40 metres too long, I think. It would have been nice to finish it off after the good job that all the guys did today. They all rode super well.

“It would have been nice to get the hands in the air, but I think it we can be happy with a GC victory today.”

Dunbar is in the final year of his contract with the Ineos Grenadiers team. He is a gifted rider who has been affected by illness and injury during his career, but received a long-overdue boost when he won the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali stage race on March 26th.

He followed that up with a solid performance supporting teammates in the Tour of the Alps, but was disappointingly passed over for selection for the Giro d’Italia. That heightened the likelihood that he could move to another team in search of greater leadership opportunities. Winning in Hungary will further boost the demand for his signature and strengthen his hand in negotiations.

“I think it is another step in the right direction,” Dunbar said, reflecting on what the success means for his career. “The last four days went really good. I was hoping I would get to do the Giro d’Italia this year, so I was hoping to be in Hungary [where the Giro started – ed.] for a different reason.

“Coming back from that disappointment, I stayed on it. I kept my condition good. It would have been easy to come here and back off and be disappointed in not making the Giro team. But to come here and leave with a GC victory is good for me personally. I think it is good for the team also.”

Dunbar plans to take a couple of days to relax and will then build up towards his next event. He is not sure of his racing programme but mentioned the Critérium du Dauphiné and La Route d’Occitanie as possible events in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile Katie-George Dunlevy and Linda Kelly followed up Friday's time trial victory at the second round of the Paracycling Road World Cup in Elzach, Germany, with another dominant win on Sunday. The duo were clearly best in the tandem road race, beating Great Britain's Sophie Unwin and Jenny Holl by one minute 57 seconds. Justyna Kiryla and Aleksandra Teclaw were a further second back in third.

“We didn’t want it to come to a sprint at the finish,” said Dunlevy. “We wanted to make it aggressive and really get away from the GB and Polish bikes. Every time we made a move they were bringing us back. We just kept on attacking and eventually with two laps to go we got a big gap and came to the end. We are absolutely delighted with that.”

Dunlevy has been piloted for years by Eve McCrystal, with whom she took both road race and time trial gold at last year's Paralympic Games. The duo won the time trial and took second in the road race at last week's World Cup in Ostend, Belgium, but Kelly then made her tandem debut in this second round of the World Cup.

She was satisfied after a very strong showing in the two events. “It was fun, very fast,” Kelly said. “It is different cornering than on a solo bike. We got clear towards the end and kept the gap, so happy out.”

Irish riders took three other top 10 results over the weekend. On Saturday Declan Slevin was sixth in the men's H3 road race and Gary O'Reilly placed seventh in the men's H5 road race. Richael Timothy was seventh in the women's C3 road race on Sunday.

Irish riders were also in action at the UCI Nations' Cup track races in Milton, Canada. Orla Walsh broke her own national record in the women's

500 metre time trial, recording a time of 34.858 seconds en route to 12th. This was clearly quicker than the 35.103 seconds she set last summer.

Emily Kay finished eighth in the multi-event Omnium race, having placed 16th in the opening scratch race, seventh in the tempo race, sixth in the elimination and an impressive second in the points race.

Tour de Hongrie, Hungary (2.1)

Stage 5, Miskolc to Gyongyos-Kekesteto: 1 Antonio Tiberi (Trek-Segafredo) 184 kilometres in 4 hours 39'31", 2 E Dunbar (Ineos Grenadiers) 2", 3 Ó Rodríguez (Movistar Team) 23", 4 S Battistella (Astana Qazaqstan Team) 25", 5 E Zambanini (Bahrain-Victorious) same time

Other Irish: 85 R Mullen (Bora-hansgrohe) 12'50"

Final overall standings: 1 Eddie Dunbar (Ineos-Grenadiers) 20 hours 38'43", 2 Ó Rodríguez (Movistar Team) 23", 3 S Battistella (Astana Qazaqstan Team) 28", 4 E Zambanini (Bahrain-Victorious) 29", 5 C Fredrik Hagen (Israel-Premier Tech) 35"

Other Irish: 75 R Mullen (Bora-hansgrohe) 13'41"

Paracycling Road World Cup, Elzach, Germany

Women's tandem road race: 1, Katie-George Dunlevy and Linda Kelly

(Ireland) 74 kilometres in 1 hour 55’52”, 2, S Unwin and J Holl (Great

Britain) 1’57”, 3, J Kiryla and A Teclaw (Poland) 1’58”

Shane Stokes

Shane Stokes

Shane Stokes is a contributor to The Irish Times writing about cycling