Tour de Pologne (finale)
6th at Thursday’s Zabrze finish, the Spaniard -joined today at the front by track partner Mora- fought again for the Movistar Team at the bunch sprint, after attacks by Arcas and Lluís Mas early on. Evenepoel takes final GC.
/ Today’s route
Krakow was the venue for Sunday’s grand finale of the Polish stagerace after 188km from Zakopane, with three categorized climbs in the first half of the race. From the mountains, at a maximum height of 1,100m, the riders descended into the plains, around 300m above sea level, for a final 60km mainly flat.
/ Weather report
Almost imperceptible winds and 29ºC in Krakow to end a race with absolutely no rain and temperatures quite far away from the heights reached by most of the Iberian Peninsula at this time of the year.
/ Las claves del día
- It started out being a two-man breakaway –Whelan (EF1) and Bouchard (ALM)-, and after many attacks in the initial stages, which Jorge Arcas tried (Movistar Team) to join, it was a five-rider attempt, with Rowe (INS), Houle (AST) and Kasperkiewicz (POL) joining. They weren’t, though, allowed a massive gap, just three minutes ahead of a peloton originally led by race leader Remco Evenepoel’s Deceuninck squad. Bora, Lotto, Trek and Israel would later take over.
- With 70km to go, and as the original break was only 1’30” ahead of the bunch, two counter-attacks formed: one with Gougeard (ALM) and Van Emden (TJV), which soon caught the leaders, and another with Lluís Mas (Movistar Team) alongside Planet (NTT), Liepiņš (TFS), Cras (LTS) and Konrad (BOH). The latter was quickly brought back by the field.
- Since that point, the Movistar Team switched its focus towards getting Albert Torres back in the mix at the bunch sprint. Near the end, the Menorca native was able to share the front with Sebastián Mora, his usual partner for track events and final support for the ‘volata, where Albert took 10th place behind winner Davide Ballerini (DQT). The GC didn’t experience any changes, with Evenepoel taking the final yellow jersey ahead of Fuglsang (AST) and Simon Yates (MTS).
/ Upcoming goals
None of the riders present in Poland for the Movistar Team will be racing at any of the two ‘bubbles’ in action next week: the Critérium du Dauphiné, in France, and the Gran Piemonte and Il Lombardia, in Italy. For all of them, the next race won’t arrive sooner than the National Championships -in two weeks’ time-, if not later.
Edu Prades, who turned 33 on Sunday, remains at Pamplona’s Clínica San Miguel undergoing exams, before being allowed to return home in the next few days.
Cover picture (c): BettiniPhoto