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Russian cyclist makes winning debut at Vietnamese national tournament

Russian cyclist makes winning debut at Vietnamese national tournament

Sunday, April 02, 2023, 12:11 GMT+7
Russian cyclist makes winning debut at Vietnamese national tournament
Russian cyclist Petr Rikunov of Tap Doan Loc Troi reacts after finishing first in the opening stage of the 2023 Ho Chi Minh City TV (HTV) Cup tournament in Hanoi, April 2, 2023. Photo: M.Q. / Tuoi Tre

Russian cyclist Petr Rikunov of the Tap Doan Loc Troi team won the opening stage of the 2023 Ho Chi Minh City TV (HTV) Cup tournament in Hanoi on Sunday morning.

A light rain did not reduce the attraction of the race, which included 25 laps around Hoan Kiem Lake in the Vietnamese capital city.

After the opening whistle, numerous consecutive attacks broke out, causing the racing teams to split and reunite multiple times under the control of the Loc Troi team, spearheaded by Rikunov.

About five laps to the finish line, a group of eight strong racers broke away, including Rikunov, Igor Frolov of Ho Chi Minh City-Vinama, Javier Perez of Nhua Binh Minh Binh Duong, Roman Maikin of Gao Hat Ngoc Troi, and Vladislav Duiunov of Ho Chi Minh City-New Group.

The race bike of Frolov, who claimed both the overall and mountains titles of the tournament last year, malfunctioned, causing him to fall behind when there were only three laps to go.

Meanwhile, the leading group of racers continued to accelerate and Rikunov, who won several titles in Russia and competed at many European and world tournaments, was the first to cross the finish line. 

The victory helped the Russian biker temporarily hold the most prestigious yellow jersey of the tourney right on his debut at a tournament in Vietnam as Tap Doan Loc Troi just welcomed him on Tuesday.

Ninety-eight cyclists from 14 competing teams are scheduled to race for 114 kilometers in the second leg of the tourney from Hanoi to north-central Thanh Hoa Province on Monday.

The HTV Cup race has been held annually since 1989 and is considered Vietnam’s ‘Tour de France.’

In its 35th edition, the competition takes cyclists through 2,964 kilometers in 25 stages from north to south in celebration of Vietnam’s reunification on April 30, 1975.

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Bao Anh - Tan Phuc / Tuoi Tre News

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