Tour de Pologne (st. 5)
Catalan allrounder from Movistar Team improves his position over the steep ramps towards the finish, yet Mezgec (MTS) takes the better of him. Edu now 4th (+18″) overall -with all six other Blues at 24″- before decisive Tatr mountain stages.
One of the most astonishing comebacks in a long time – unrewarded. Edu Prades (Movistar Team) had firmly set his sights on taking advantage of the explosive finish -with slopes around 5%- of Wednesday’s stage five in the 2019 Tour de Pologne, yet was left with the sour taste of 2nd place, behind Slovenia’s Luka Mezgec (MTS).
Covered by the Blues in the approach to the final circuit, the Catalan had to go solo and seek for a good position inside the last 2km uphill. Well behind 15th place with 700m remaining, Prades started to overtake riders and had to manage his way through the group’s swerving -including one direction change with just 100m remanining-. His excellent final rush allowed him finishing ahead of sprinters like Ben Swift (INS, 3rd) or punchy rouleurs like Petr Vakoc (DQT, 4th).
Today’s effort helps Prades climb onto 4th overall -18″ behind Ackermann (BOH)-, as the rest of the Blues remain 24” down. Around seventy riders remain with the same time before the decisive duo of Tatr mountain stages, coming up on Thursday and Friday.
REACTION / Edu Prades:
“It’s a pity. You see yourself coming back so strong – and you end up missing out on the win by few meters, a sign that you somewhat missed the mark. In such a finish, when you’ve got to save energy for so late into the sprint, you never know when to push on full steam. I had seen the video from last year’s finish and I knew I had to be patient. Also, on the laps before the finish we felt those headwinds, and with those ramps, you know the sprinters will end up paying the effort, missing some energy and spark at the end. The final swerwing was more about myself than the peloton: I didn’t find a line to keep progressing, I was finishing strong while the others were way slower than me, and I needed to get off through somewhere. It was sad I wasn’t able to find that spot earlier. The upcoming stages? Well, I know they have more mountains, but they should still suit me well. Let’s see how far we can reach. If I have any small chance, I won’t give it away. Let’s try to at least be there and reach as far as possible.”
Cover picture (c): BettiniPhoto