The 152.9 km-long stage, held in the Bukovina area, started with an early breakaway that included Nathan Haas, Chris Harper, Patryk Stosz, Kamil Malecki and James Whelan. In the last 60 km, after some hard work put in at the front by the Mitchelton Scott squad, the peloton numbered just 20 riders, including favourites Jakob Fuglsang, Rafal Majka, Simon Yates, Tim Wellens, Remco Evenepoel and Richard Carapaz. Only a few kilometres later the bunch caught the breakaway and the young Belgian rider, Remco Evenepoel, attacked.
Remco rode solo for almost 50 km, becoming the main player in a classy performance and conquering the queen stage of the Tour de Pologne – UCI Worldtour, with an epic win. The young Belgian touched the heart of all the fans when he held up the number of his teammate Fabio Jakobsen, who woke up from his coma yesterday.
Rafal Majka was another great protagonist of the day, chasing in to close gaps and totally deserving today’s best Polish rider award.
Diego Ulissi and Patryk Stosz become respectively the LOTOS jersey owner, as the best sprinter, and the best climber leading the classification sponsored by PZU.
The most active rider jersey award goes to the tireless Maciej Paterski, while today’s winner gets the general classification.
Patryk Stosz, best climber – “I think I have enough lead over the next rider in the KOM classification so I now mainly need to focus on keeping my position safe. It’s hard to describe how much wearing this jersey means to me – I have trained hard specifically for this race and for this exact jersey, and being able to wear it makes me enormously happy. It’s a dream come true – especially in a World Tour race like this. I will start the celebrations tomorrow though, after I cross the finish line.”
Simon Yates, 3rd – “It’s been a hard stage. A very strong Remco (Evenepoel) as he showed during the race, chapeau to him for a very good ride. We as a team tried to make it hard, and we did that and managed to come away with a good result. I am happy, I felt good in Burgos and here I made another step, and I’m happy with the result.”
Winner and GC leader, Remco Evenepoel – “We’ve had hard nights lately, the night of Fabio’s crash, nobody slept well actually. We had some really hard moments but stayed together. I think now the whole world sees how hard this team sticks together. Also, the guys that are not racing here actually live with us. The good news we had in the last couple of days and hours has really given us a boost. Yesterday we tried to go for a win with Ballerini and today it was my day. We had a plan: I had to attack a bit later but I thought that at 50km to go it was a good moment because I saw everyone was really suffering as yesterday has been quite a hard stage. Everybody believed in me and gave me confidence. The celebration was in my mind since yesterday. Today when I got the number I felt so much energy and wanted to go.”