Intxausti (2nd), Ion Izagirre (3rd), Amador (9th) come all close to win in vibrant final kilometer up Strbske Pleso -first mountain stage in the Tour de Pologne-, confirm Movistar Team's potential before Queen stage
Victory sneaked away from the Movistar Team’s hands in the first demanding stage of the 2014 Tour de Pologne. Superiority in numbers from the Blues up towards Strbske Pleso (Slovakia), climbed three times at the end of a rainy 190km from Zakopane, at the other side of the border, saw local hero Rafal Majka (TCS) stopping Beñat Intxausti from a success he was really close to achieve after great work from the telephone squad.
Domestique support came mainly from one man: Adriano Malori. The Italian tried to make things easier for his team-mates by entering a 14-rider attempt halfway through the first ascent. After the group was chased down by Garmin and Belkin, Malori drove the pace for his climbing team-mates -the Izagirre brothers, Amador, Szmyd, Capecchi, Intxausti- till the foot of the last ascent. Seeing the extremely fast pace -mainly from Tinkoff in the beginning, then with fruitless attacks like Weening’s (OGE) in the finale- and the soft ramps, the telephone squad waited for the last kilometer, where strong attacks by Amador (9th) and Intxausti (2nd) saw him contesting a victory which also Ion Izagirre (3rd) sought into the sprint.
With four riders -Gorka Izagirre was 15th- within the best twenty of the day and no less than six -counting Capecchi and Szmyd in- as part of the main field till the final slopes, the Movistar Team looks promising before stage 6 -174km, with eight rated climbs- in Bukowina tomorrow, prelude of the TT. Intxausti and Ion are respectively 3rd and 4th overall at the moment.