IN KATOWICE’S TEMPLE TO SPEED, PASCAL ACKERMANN IS THE FASTEST
55The German from team Bora-Hansgrohe scores his second victory and hangs on to the leader’s yellow jersey.
True to script, the arrival in Katowice provided high speed thrills with its final on a long, slight downhill straightaway. For the second day in a row, the champion from Germany Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) was the winner on the roads of Tour de Pologne – UCI World Tour. Today the Colombian Alvaro Hodeg (Quick-Step Floors) was second again, and the day’s podium was rounded out by Italian Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Segafredo).
It all came down to the final metres. With about 600 metres to go to the arrival, Jan Tratnik (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) tried to get ahead with another rider from the Polish National team, breaking ranks at the front of the group and forcing the sprinters to go all in to catch up and then vie for the victory; once again today, with a powerful sprint Ackermann got the best of Colombian Hodeg.
This year the sprinters again reached impressively high speeds in the final sprint. Winner Ackermann’s cyclocomputer registered a maximum speed of 85.5 km/h.
Here’s a recap of the stage:
The stage featured a break by five riders: Belgians Jan Bakelants (Ag2r La Mondiale) and Jonthe Biermans (Katusha Alpecin), Russian Evgeny Shalunov (Gazprom RusVelo) and Poles Kamil Gradek (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) and Adam Stachowiak (Reprezentacja Polski). They gained a maximum advantage of about 2’30”, with the pack being spurred on by Ackermann in the yellow jersey and his team mates from Bora-Hansgrohe, as well as the other teams of sprinters that didn’t let the fugitives get too far.
At the beginning of the four 20-km laps on the final circuit in Katowice, the Belgians Bakelants and Biermans fell behind the band of attackers. In any case, Jan Biermans ended up donning the Lotto blue jersey at the end of the race as the most active rider in the group, thanks to the points he garnered in the intermediate primes. The three remaining riders continued in their endeavours, but they got caught by the pack during the last lap with about 12 km to go to the finish line, where Ackermann dominated once again in today’s group sprint.
As for the other classifications, in addition to the Carrefour yellow leader’s jersey, Pascal Ackermann hangs on to the Hyundai white jersey as best sprinter. For the second day in a row, the Tauron magenta jersey for best climber remains on the shoulders of the Polish rider Michal Paluta (CCC Sprandi Polkowice), who is also the leader of the Loots classification for the best Polish rider. Watch the interview of Michal Paluta after stage 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xs3GUrbkLaU
Team Trek – Segafredo continues to lead the team classification.
“We already knew it would be a difficult and fast sprint, and since we’re known to sprint from the front of the bunch, we sprinted at high speed from the back. We had 55 chain rings and it worked. The Tour de Pologne was a big goal for me, so I’m really happy to hang on to the yellow jersey. I’d like to thank my team mates, who did a great job again today. Tomorrow is another day which suits my skills and we’ll work together again as a team,” says the yellow jersey Pascal Ackermann.
Pascal Ackermann speaking of stage 2, watch the video: