A victory that transcends sport

Ukrainian rider Mark Padun wins stage 4 of the Gran Camiño.

February 27, 2022

Sometimes, a victory can transcend the world of sport and carry the weight of a nation behind it. Today, Ukrainian rider Mark Padun won the stage 4 time trial of the Gran Camiño with a smile on his face and his home country on his mind.

“I cannot be completely happy, because of what is happening in my country, but I want to share this victory with all of my citizens,” said Mark Padun at the finish. “I am here and I am supporting them as much as I can through this situation. I am following and want to say Slava Ukraini”

Three days ago, on stage 1, Padun was there to lead out Magnus Cort ahead of his sprint win in Vigo, a victory that Cort later dedicated to his Ukrainian teammate. Over the last two days, he showed that he was here to challenge the podium and put on some impressive performances on the steep Galician climbs. Today, Padun – who has never taken a time trial victory at an international race - powered over the lumpy 16-kilometer course on his way to his first victory with the team. The result also moved him into third overall of the Gran Camiño.

I knew that the time trial was going to be quite fast,” said Padun. “I was hoping to be in the top three, but I didn’t think I really could win this.”

“It’s been a real pleasure working with Mark this year,” said EF Education-EasyPost CEO Jonathan Vaughters. “From helping him find his voice to silence his critics, to encouraging him to open up a bit and let us help him with his time trialing, he has shown me he’s a truly great human. He’s tough. Very tough. And stubborn. Very stubborn. But then, these are the traits of his people, as I am now learning. I’m proud of him. How he has held up the last few weeks? Incredible. We will hear a lot more about Mark Padun this year. I have no doubt. None. Slava Ukraini!"

"I’m super happy for Mark," said sports director Juanma Garate. "Super happy. It was the first time that he did a time trial with high goals. Sometimes you have time trials you just go from A to B but in this case he wanted to do well. He was super concentrated and super motivated to do it well and I think that everything went super. All the team was super happy to see him smiling in the bus after the race. It was a special moment, I can tell you."

Padun, who holds his family close, took the time to thank his girlfriend. “I also want to say thank you to my girlfriend because she’s been following me the whole race and writing to me every day.”

While all victories are well deserved, we think Mark is especially deserving of this one. Congratulations, Mark.

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