Cabo Frio, Brazil – Aldo Ino Ilesic made history Saturday when he won Team Type 1′s first race in South America.
Ilesic easily took the sprint into a headwind to win Stage 4 of the Tour do Rio ahead of Brazilians Fabiele Mota (Memorial/Prefeitura de Santos/Giant) and Carlos Franka (São Francisco Saude/KHS). The 94-mile (152 km) race traveled from the Brazilian coastal city of Nova Friburgo north to Cabo Frio.
Ilesic becomes the first rider in the three-year history of the Team Type 1 men’s professional team to win races on three different continents. In addition to six victories in the United States last year and one at the Vuelta Mexico Telmex in April, the 25-year-old Slovenian also won three stages of the Tour du Maroc in North Africa in March.
Saturday’s stage featured plenty of drama, including a major crash with 50 miles to go on a high-speed descent. Race leader Tomas Alberio (Trevigiani Dynamon Bottoli) went down, as did Renato Santos (Clube Dataro de Ciclismo), who had been sitting third overall. Santos was forced to abandon, while Alberio eventually made his way back to the peloton, which had sat up to await his return from a six-minute deficit.
Team Type 1 Director Sportif Vassili Davidenko said despite having Chris Jones in second place, 18 seconds off the lead, the honorable thing to do was wait for Alberio to return to the field.
“Chris didn’t want to take the jersey under those conditions,” Davidenko said. “We want to win the race, but in a way that we can be proud.”
With a field sprint looking likely, Davidenko said the plan was to set up Ken Hanson for the stage win and possibly earn enough bonus seconds to move him up from sixth overall. But Hanson – who had top-five finishes on the first three stages – was taken down in a crash inside the final three kilometers.
Sunday’s final stage is a 100-mile (161 km) race from Cabo Frio west to Rio de Janeiro.
“We’ll try to get another stage win and try to move Chris up one more place,” Davidenko said. “These guys are really tough guys. Logistically, we’ve had a lot of obstacles, but they’re not giving up and they’re doing their best despite all the challenges.”