Stuart Pickering's picture

Andrea Palini wins the prologue

Andrea Palini (Androni - Sidermec - Bottecchia) has taken the first honours of the 2017 Sibiu Cycling Tour, winning tonight's 2.3 km prologue ahead of his teammate Luca Pacioni and Colombian Carlos Alzate from the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team. The Italian celebrated his first victory since joining the team at the beginning of the year and will wear the yellow leader's jersey during tomorrow's first stage of the race.

Brad Neagos was the first rider to start the race on the Piața Huet next to the Protestant cathedral at 18:00 local time. The prologue finished on Piața Mare after taking in several streets in the Historical Centre of Sibiu in between and also crossing the Piața Mare twice for a very spectator-friendly race. The evening sun was out, and there was a good atmosphere with lots of spectators who cheered on all the riders when they went past, making strong efforts to accelerate out of the many corners.

The first rider to post a benchmark was Luca Pacioni who sped around the course in 3:09 minutes. He only had to vacate the hotseat when his teammate Andrea Palini stopped the clock after 3:07 minutes. Although plenty of riders were still to come and several posted good times, nobody came close to Palini's time, and the Italian could don the first yellow leader's jersey of the 2017 Sibiu Cycling Tour. Gašper Katrašnik (Adria Mobil) leads the U23 classification and will ride in orange tomorrow while Eduard Michael Grosu (Team Romania) was the Best Romanian in the prologue and gets to wear the red jersey on stage 1.

Prologue podium:

1.  Andrea Palini (ITA) Androni - Sidermec - Bottecchia 3:07.14

2.  Luca Pacioni (ITA) Androni - Sidermec - Bottecchia 3:09.19

3.  Carlos Alzate (COL) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team 3:11.07

Jersey wearers on stage 1:

 Andrea Palini (ITA) Androni - Sidermec - Bottecchia

 Gašper Katrašnik (SLO) Adria Mobil

 Eduard Michael Grosu (ROU) Team Romania