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The winner of the opening stage of Tour of Estonia 2017 is Karl Patrick Lauk

Karl Patrick Lauk, who was cycling in Estonian team colours, won the first stage of the Tour of Estonia - Tallinn-Tartu GP (211,2 km).

As expected, nearly 5 km long section of gravel road after the hill sprint of Emumägi made cycling a little bit more tricky. Just then a group of approximately 15 men separated from the main group and soon catched up with Peeter Pruus and Martin Laas, who had been ahead of the others so far. It was soon clear that the winner of the Tour of Estonia's opening stage will come out of that group, too. But as the finish approached, four men, among whom 20 years old Lauk was the only Estonian, managed to get ahead of the bigger group. In the final meters, he showed his capacity to spurt fast and finished ahead of Deins Kanepejsi from Latvia (Rietumu Banka-Riga) and Hampus Anderberg from Swedish national team.


"I certainly was not the first choice of the Estonian national team, who was going to be sent to catch the stage win, because Mihkel (Räim) was the main man considering the season start's shape. But the feeling was really good today and the final meters went well," said Lauk after the race. "Actually sprinters have an ability to understand when they overbear the others and today I felt that. It shows that my form is not bad at all," he added.


It can be said that Estonian men made a clean sweep today. Peeter Pruus, who competes in Latvian team Rietumu Banka-Riga colours took both of the hill sprint winnings while the pre-race favorite Mihkel Räim was the fastest in intermediate sprints. In general classification they finished accordingly seventh and fifth.


"I got the (mountain) shirt on today and quite good place in the finish, which means that tomorrow it is possible to chase a very good place in general classification," considered Pruus tomorrow's possibilities.


"Surprisingly, today the group separated to different parts, which will make the tour very exciting tomorrow. We'll see what is going to happen on Saturday, but I think that we have quite good chances," said Räim.


The Tour of Estonia will end tomorrow with the Tartu GP, which will be cycled in 9,6 km lap in the streets of Tartu. There will be a total of 18 laps that will make together 172,8 km long distance.

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