Last week the team was in Hungary for their National Tour. Absent from the pro calendar for 10 years, 2015 marked the return of the race on the international calendar with 6 days of racing.
Equipe CMI sent a team of 6 riders, however Dima Ponomarenko (UKR) disappeared in transit and never made it to the start in time to race, meaning the team took the start with only 5 riders. Included in the roster for CMI was 2005 U 23 World Champion Dmytro Grabovskyy who, following a number of years racing with Quick Step and Lampre is making his return to the sport after a 4 year hiatus.
The race was very well organised and the courses, although totally unsuited to our riders due to daily finishing circuits that highly resembled a criterium, were well run, with lots of attention to detail making them very media friendly.
The only downside to the race was a low level of accommodation. The usual guarenties you get from a UCI race in terms of food and hotels went out the window, giving way to dormitories with shared bathrooms, often without towels for the riders or soap.
Our leader Dmytro was our best place finisher on a stage with an 11th place on one of the finishing circuits. Most of the team's efforts were being saved for the mountain stage that saw the riders finish atop an 18km mountain at over 1000m. However Dmytro suffered from the high temperatures that day (43 degrees) and ironically had to pull out of the race. Simeon Green who was feeling good and looking at aiming for a top 10 on the stage made a couple of misstakes, going back to the car for water on the approach to the mountain only to find out the car was out of water, in the comfusion the main field split in two and Sim was in the second half. Bad positioning, day over. The other event of note was Rolly Weaver getting into the race's longest break on the 200km stage. Rolly showed off the jersey well to the country, the fans and for the TV cameras.
CMI looks forward to returning to the Tour of Hungary in 2016.
Next up on the Calendar is the Tour of Bulgaria and the Tour of the Black seas.