The German national champion Pascal Ackermann is the winner of the first stage in the Tour de Pologne UCI – World Tour, the 134 km Krakow-Krakow route. The sprinter from team Bora-Hansgrohe won the overall group sprint, beating the emerging talent from Colombia Alvaro Hodeg (Quick-Step Floors), and Italian Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton – Scott). This is another great victory for him, coming one week after his success in the Prudential RideLondon – Surrey Classic.
The stage victory and the first yellow Carrefour leader’s jersey went to Pascal Ackermann, who was rewarded on the podium in Krakow by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who attended this first stage of the Tour de Pologne. This year the race is celebrating its 90 year birthday, and is also contributing to national celebrations marking 100 years of Polish independence (1918-2018). The Prime Minister also attended the Kinder+Sport Mini Tour de Pologne, which hosted more than 700 kids in a race that took place before the arrival of the pros.
Pascal Ackermann had a full plate today on the podium in Krakow, where he also donned the white Hyundai jersey as best sprinter.
Here’s a recap of the stage…
Ready, set go… after the Grand Depart from the magnificent Rynek Glowny (the main square) in Krakow, four valiant attackers braved the daunting heat, pushing out in the first major breakaway in the 2018 Tour de Pologne. Italy’s Alessandro De Marchi (BMC Racing Team), France’s Stephane Rossetto (Cofidis) and the Poles Michal Paluta (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) and Michal Podlaski (Reprezentacja Polski) fired up the entire first part of the race with their efforts, reaching a maximum advantage of 3′.30″, with the pack close on their heels and leaving little room to maneuverer, with the teams of sprinters making the most of their chance to win on the finish line in Krakow. Out of the four attackers, the last one to cede was Rossetto, who got caught by the pack with about 10 km to go until the end on the final circuit. The most active attackers included Michal Paluta, who won both of the GPMs to capture the first magenta Tauron jersey as the best climber. Paluta also won the important special prime on the 42.2 k mark at Lanckorona.
Alessandro De Marchi, who was also a part of the initial break, won the blue Lotto jersey as the most active rider in the group. Trek-Segafredo leads the teams classification.
“I’m very happy with this victory. After the National Championship and the Prudential Ride London I’ve managed to score another important win. I feel like I’m in really good shape, today everything went off without a hitch and I have to thank the entire team for the great job they did, setting me up to pull off a fantastic sprint. Now the goal is to try and do well in the next two stages, which are suited to my skills; I will try to defend this yellow jersey and then we’ll see,” said the winner, Pascal Ackermann.
“The Tour de Pologne is the second World Tour race where I got to sprint for the team and today I had a good opportunity to take another win, but Pascal was just stronger. I am content with my form and very happy to see the fantastic support of my teammates, to whom I want to say thank you for their amazing work. It’s never a pleasant feeling when you finish second, but there will be other chances and I remain confident,” says the second place finisher, Alvaro Hodeg.
“I’m quite happy, this is my best result of the season; but beyond that, what is really important is that things are going well. After my injury at the Roubaix I was away from the races for quite some time. Now I feel like my conditioning is getting better and days like today give me confidence and boost morale. I came here to Poland because this is an important race with the necessary prerequisites to do a good job and make it back to the top. The goal is to do well here and come away from this race in the best way possible, because the Tour de Pologne finishes on August 10, and on the 12th I will be right back at it, racing with the Italian National team in the European Championships in Glasgow, Scotland” says Matteo Trentin, who was third today.
“Today I wanted to make it into the break. The aim was to capture the first jersey for the mountain grand prix, and I did so. Furthermore, there was also the victory at the important prime in Lanckorona, so I dare say that there couldn’t have been a better beginning in the Tour de Pologne for me and my team. It means a lot to us to do well in this edition and obviously every day we are going to try to stand out and achieve the maximum results,” says Michal Paluta.
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