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Giro d'Italia

Eddie Dunbar puts Giro d’Italia selection woes behind him to take Tour de Hongrie win

'I was hoping to do the Giro d’Italia this season, but coming back from that disappointment I stayed on it' says Irish climber.

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Eddie Dunbar (Ineos Grenadiers) continued his strong spring with overall victory in the Tour de Hongrie on Sunday. The Irishman finished second on the queen stage but sealed the overall win to take his second stage win of the year.

Dunbar was surprisingly left out of Ineos Grenadiers’s eight-rider team for the Giro d’Italia, missing out to Ben Tulett.

Dunbar, 28, won Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali in March, and then backed that up with 18th overall at the Tour of the Alps. It looked as though he had done enough to make Ineos’ team for the Giro d’Italia but he missed out on his second-ever start in the race.

Hongrie saw him put in another impressive performance, however, and he attacked on the final climb of stage 5. He was reeled in and beaten by Antonio Tiberi (Trek – Segafredo) but finished second on the stage, and top of the overall standings with a 23 second win over Óscar Rodríguez (Movistar).

“I’m happy to win GC but I really wanted to win the stage today. It was just 40 metres too long I think. It would have been nice to finish it off after the good job all the guys did today – Ben, Kim, Elia and Andrey, they all rode super well. It would have been nice to get the hands in the air but I think we can be happy with a GC victory today,” Dunbar said after the race.

“It’s another step in the right direction. The last four days went really good. I was hoping to do the Giro d’Italia this season, but coming back from that disappointment I stayed on it and I kept my condition good. To come here and leave with a GC victory is good for me and the team.”

“You’ve seen Elia all week – he was sprinting, but then to come and do a job like that in the final. Also Kim who is a young rider, he did super for the first bit of the climb. But look, I think rider of the day for me was Ben Turner. He’s just come from a serious classics campaign, probably a standout rider in the classics, and to do that today on a climb of that length, and split the field like he did – chapeau to him.”

The win at the Tour de Hongrie is only likely to intensify the interest around Dunbar, who is out of contract at the end of the year. Ineos Grenadiers has yet to offer the Irish rider a new contract, while Jumbo-Visma, EF Education EasyPost, and BikeExchange-Jayco have all been linked with the climber.