The Tour de Pologne returned to Karpacz after 16 years and Matej Mohorič (Bahrain-Victorious) broke the deadlock with a great action to win the 2nd stage. João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) and Michal Kwiatkowski (INEOS Grenadiers) finished 2nd and 3rd respectively.
On a challenging finish, as expected, the favourites did not betray expectations and ensured an exciting finale. After catching the breakaway at 20 km remaining, Majka broke away from the peloton with 3.2 km to go in Karpacz, followed only by the Lotto Dstny rider Lennert Van Eetvelt who was the only one able to bridge on Majka. The peloton caught up with the two attackers and Mohorič launched a new attack followed by Almeida who finished second followed by Kwiatkowski in third.
“It’s nice to win here,” said Mohorič at the finish. “After the Tour de France I immediately felt that I was still in form. Today I managed to win a difficult stage. When Maijka attacked, I wasn’t sure I should follow him, but I kept calm and had Caruso’s support. It was the right decision. In the last 300 metres I launched my sprint. I thought someone was going to pass me but it didn’t happen. I pushed as hard as I could and in the end I won. Tomorrow will be another important stage, probably harder than today’s. The Tour de Pologne is probably the stage race that suits me best. But this year with the ITT in the finale it will be difficult for me. But I will try again in the next days and give my best until the last kilometres.”
“It was a hectic final,” said Almeida. “Congratulations to Mateij, he rode a great race and I couldn’t overtake him in the final. In the end I’m happy with my race. It wasn’t easy. The pace was high. Tomorrow it will be hard again, so we have to race at the front. I really like this race. Two years ago, when I won, everything was decided in Katowice with the ITT, so I hope to go into the final Time Trial with a good GC classification and give it my all..”
“I am happy with the race,” said Kwiatkowski, the best Polish rider of the race. “It was a super dynamic finish. I wanted to do my best to win the race, but today I didn’t have the extra kick to follow the accelerations of Matej and Joao. It is what it is, it’s only the second stage of the Tour of Poland. I would have liked to win in front of my fans, but I will fight until the end. I had a good feeling today, so I will try to do my best day by day”.
The second stage of the Tour de Pologne UCI WorldTour took the peloton from Leszno to Karpacz in the longest stage of the 80th edition of the race. The peloton covered 202.9 kilometres and climbed up to 2364 metres.
The stage began with an early breakaway, formed by Jacopo Mosca (LTK), Lorenzo Milesi (DSM) and Sam Brand (TNN), which managed to open up a considerable gap of ten minutes on the main group. The race was always controlled by the GC men such as INEOS Grenadiers, Bora-Hansgrohe and UAE Team Emirates.
Jacopo Mosca (LTK) won the special prize: 95 years of the Tour de Pologne, Soudal, placed in Świerzawa at 129.7 kilometres from the start, as well as the Przełęcz pod Średnicą KOM, while the second KOM – in Sosnówka – went to Lucas HAMILTON.
In the final hour, only Jacopo Mosca and Lorenzo Milesi kept the lead while Sam Brand was dropped and then caught by the fast peloton.
The Tauron Arena will host tomorrow’s stage from Wałbrzych to Duszniki Zdrój (163km). The stage will feature three GPM category 2 climbs of 3km at 7%, 8km at 5% and the final 8km at 4% with 12km to go. The last kilometre features a section of about 500 metres with gradients up to 18,8% with a final flat 500 m