|From l to r: Stash, Baska and Martinelli|
Nothing like a little unnecessary danger to make a U23 race complete. The early part of the race was filled with multiple attacks with some working better than others. Massimo Morabito (Luxembourg) took a trip off the front early on but that only lasted for a lap. The next attack to stick belonged to that young Irish rascal Eddie Dunbar and Pole Wojciech Sykala, who got away on the 5th lap together. They were briefly away but once Stephan Kurianov (Russia) and Edoardo Affini (Italy) joined them, their advantage was more or less gone.¡¡Un camión en plena carrera!! Vaya despiste. Por suerte no ha pasado nada. #EuroRoad15 pic.twitter.com/Db5hCqVqOK— Respira Ciclismo (@RespiraCiclismo) August 9, 2015
The ascent of the final hill certainly stretched things out with a small group getting some distance but it was not enough to prevent a bunch sprint.
Baska waited until roughly 250 meters to hit the front but was able to get a healthy gap on Stash, who was coming from the other side while Davide Martinelli went from way out and saved a podium spot. Stash was more surprising with his 2nd place as his sprint has been inconsistent to say the least. Martinelli in 3rd...well I have said for over a year now that I think he could develop into a sprinter and this is yet another example of that.
A young slovakian @ErikBaska win the U23 European Championship, https://t.co/wnm4G6YK93 a new @petosagan is coming?— Stefano Masi (@StefanoMasi) August 9, 2015
To answer the above question...no. He is not a new Peter Sagan. This was a fairly flat race (it is Estonia after all) and Baska has proven himself as a good sprinter in Central European races. While it was somewhat of a surprise, this field was not brimming with sprinting talent. Let's all say it together...Just because someone is the same nationality and wins a similar race, doesn't make them their heir apparent. Not every Belgian who wins a one-day is the next Tom Boonen. Nor is every Spaniard who wins a stage race the next Contador.
While it is a big result for Baska, this race was missing a lot of strong riders including the whole of the Danish and Dutch teams among other things. Take it with a grain of salt.
Full results from the race can be found here