Czech rider from OPQS wins in Varsaw with 21-second gap over sprinters -Juanjo Lobato 22nd after getting boxed in-, leads Poland overall with two flat stages ahead before Tatr mountains
Scorching heat in the Tour de Pologne, suffering after a chaotic start to the race on Sunday and the 226-kilometer repetition of yesterday’s effort, between Toruń and Warsaw, made possible what usually looks pretty unlikely in a WorldTour event: a solo escapee beating the top sprinters. Czech rider Petr Vakoc (OPQ), under-23 European champion in 2013 and off the front of the field from the beginning -alongside Kasperkiewicz (POL) and Matysiak (CCC)-, reached the modified circuit in the Polish capital with almost three minutes’ gap, which were enough to raise his arms with a big smile as the new leader of the event.
The twisty run into the finish -despite the dangerous final turn, less than 500m from the line, was removed- avoided Juanjo Lobato (22nd) searching for his chances today, though there will still be two more days -starting with tomorrow’s stage three, 174km from Kielce to Rzeszów- to try his luck. All Amador, Capecchi, Ion Izagirre, Szmyd and Intxausti -the latter suffered a mechanical into the final 3k, neutralized by the jury- are still within the same time of the top GC contenders (37″ in arrears of Vakoc) with 72 hours before the Tatr mountains’ stages on Thursday and Friday.
Pictures (c): Szymon Gruchalski / IMGstudio